Johnstown Tomahawks
CityJohnstown, Pennsylvania
LeagueNorth American Hockey League
DivisionEast
Founded1990
Home arena1st Summit Bank Arena
ColorsNavy, red, and white
     
Owner(s)Tomahawks Hockey Partners LLC.
(John Koufis - majority owner)[1]
Head coachMike Letizia (2014–present)
MediaThe Tribune-Democrat, HockeyTV
Franchise history
1990–1991Dearborn Magic
1991–1994Michigan Nationals
1994–1996Dearborn Heights Nationals
1996–2001St. Louis Sting
2001–2005Springfield Spirit
2005–2006Wasilla Spirit
2006–2012Alaska Avalanche
2012–presentJohnstown Tomahawks


The Johnstown Tomahawks are a Tier II junior ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League's East Division. The team plays its home games at the 1st Summit Bank Arena at Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It is the oldest extant franchise in the NAHL.

History

Alaska Avalanche logo.

The franchise was originally called the Dearborn Magic, Michigan Nationals, and the Dearborn Heights Nationals when the team played in Dearborn, Michigan.[2] before moving and becoming St. Louis Sting in 1996. In 2001, the Sting moved to Springfield, Missouri, as the Springfield Spirit. In 2005, they moved to Wasilla, Alaska, as the Wasilla Spirit, only to re-brand themselves as the Alaska Avalanche the next season. The Avalanche played out of the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla until the end of the 2009–10 season. The Avalanche moved to Palmer, Alaska, beginning in the 2010–11 season and played at the Palmer Ice Arena.[3][4]

The team relocated to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 2012, taking the place of the ECHL's Johnstown Chiefs, who moved to Greenville, South Carolina, in 2011. They became known as the Johnstown Tomahawks [5][6]

The Tomahawks played their first game on September 8, 2012, against the Port Huron Fighting Falcons and lost 4–3 in overtime. They won their first game in a 6–5 shootout on September 13, 2012, over the Kenai River Brown Bears. Their first home game at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena was played on September 29, 2012, losing 3–2 in a shootout to the Michigan Warriors.

The 2018–19 season was the most successful for the Tomahawks so far, as they were regular season champions of the North American Hockey League, along with East Division regular season and playoff champions. The Tomahawks advanced to the Robertson Cup Semifinals, where they lost to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs two games to one. The 2018–19 team set franchise records for wins, points, and points scored.

Season-by-season records

Note: as of conclusion of 2022–23 season[7][8]

Season GP W L OTL PTS GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
St. Louis Sting
1996–97 46 8 38 0 16 123 248 8th, NAHL
1997–98 56 23 32 1 47 188 237 1,718 7th, NAHL
1998–99 56 34 16 6 74 211 180 1,611 3rd, NAHL
1999–00 56 18 35 3 39 164 230 1,605 5th, NAHL
2000–01 56 15 36 5 35 170 263 2,034 5th, NAHL
Springfield Spirit
2001–02 56 23 29 4 50 182 222 1,533 3rd, West
2002–03 56 15 36 5 35 129 240 1,689 5th, West
2003–04 56 13 39 4 30 153 259 1,803 7th, South
2004–05 56 20 29 7 47 144 188 1,027 6th, South Did not qualify
Wasilla Spirit
2005–06 56 23 33 2 48 133 187 1,307 4th, West Lost 1st Round, 2–3 vs. Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Alaska Avalanche
2006–07 62 16 39 7 39 148 242 1,699 6th, South Did not qualify
2007–08 58 16 38 4 36 158 270 1,251 5th, South Did not qualify
2008–09 58 23 30 5 51 172 224 1,505 3rd, West Lost 1st Round, 1–3 vs. Wenatchee Wild
2009–10 58 32 19 7 71 198 178 1,393 2nd, West Lost 1st Round, 0–3 vs. Fairbanks Ice Dogs
2010–11 58 32 22 4 68 193 173 1,479 3rd, West Lost Div. Semifinals, 0–3 vs. Wenatchee Wild
2011–12 60 35 19 6 76 192 173 1,161 3rd, West Lost Div. Semifinals, 2–3 vs. Wenatchee Wild
Johnstown Tomahawks
2012–13 60 27 21 12 66 179 171 1343 5th, North Lost Play-In Series, 1–2 vs. Port Huron Fighting Falcons
2013–14 60 28 27 5 61 167 181 1130 4th, North Lost Div. Semifinals, 0–3 vs. Port Huron Fighting Falcons
2014–15 60 25 27 8 58 166 191 1167 5th, North Did not qualify
2015–16 60 31 24 5 67 197 200 1502 3rd of 4, East
12th of 22, NAHL
Won Div. Semifinals, 3–0 vs. New Jersey Titans
Lost Div. Finals, 0–3 vs. Aston Rebels
2016–17 60 40 16 4 84 209 148 1502 2nd of 5, East
4th of 24, NAHL
Lost Div. Semifinals, 0–3 vs. New Jersey Titans
2017–18 60 23 33 4 50 142 195 1136 5th of 5, East
20th of 23, NAHL
Did not qualify
2018–19 60 47 9 4 98 245 150 1029 1st of 6, East
1st of 24, NAHL
Won Div. Semifinals, 3–2 vs. Northeast Generals
Won Div. Finals, 3–2 vs. New Jersey Titans
Lost Robertson Cup Semifinals, 1–2 vs. Fairbanks Ice Dogs
2019–20 51 34 13 4 72 185 140 755 2nd of 7, East
6th of 26, NAHL
Season cancelled
2020–21 54 39 10 5 83 220 144 876 1st of 6, East
2nd of 23, NAHL
Lost Div. Semifinals, 2–3 vs. Maryland Black Bears
2021–22 60 34 20 6 74 225 148 797 2nd of 6, East
9th of 29, NAHL
Lost Div. Semifinals, 2–3 vs. Jamestown Rebels
2022–23 60 29 26 5 63 189 211 1312 5th of 7, East
21st of 29, NAHL
Did not qualify
2023-24 26 14 10 2 30 87 79 310 5th of 9th Eastern Division, 16th of 32 NAHL tbd

References

  1. ^ "OWNERSHIP GROUP". johnstowntomahawks.com. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  2. ^ "Dearborn Heights Nationals Statistics and History". HockeyDB. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  3. ^ BartzFrontiersman, Jeremiah. "BACK ON THE ICE". Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.
  4. ^ "Palmer Council approves ice arena upgrade: Mat-Su | adn.com". Archived from the original on 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  5. ^ "Alaska hockey team relocating to Johnstown".
  6. ^ "Cambria County War Memorial". Archived from the original on 2005-08-28. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
  7. ^ "North American Hockey League [1975-2022] history and statistics at hockeydb.com".
  8. ^ "North American Hockey League - standings | Pointstreak Sports Technologies".