Hockey Back in Johnstown: My Thoughts From My First NAHL Game
The final horn has sounded and the Johnstown Tomahawks fell to the Springfield Jr. Blues 6 to 4. All in all though, it was a really fun game to watch. Here are some random thoughts I had now that the game is over.
- Being that this is a junior hockey league I knew going in that these would be teenagers on the ice but it still was an adjustment to see just how small these kids were compared to the pros of the ECHL just a few years ago.
- Along with there smaller size, the other adjustment I had to make was the skill level. There are a lot of rough edges in the game at this level and that is to be expected since they are still learning. However, this does make you appreciate the smaller points of the game that normally go unnoticed watching NHL hockey. Just watching one of the kids successfully clear the zone on a penalty kill or deke past an opponent can be very exciting.
- On a personal note, if you don’t know the game very well, please don’t yell out like a dumbass. I will not tell anyone they can’t be excited and get into the game, but don’t yell stupid stuff like, “Screw icing, get the puck” if you don’t understand how icing works. This is really just a note to the woman that sat behind me the entire game. I can’t stand people who don’t understand the very basics of this sport.
- Andrew McDonald, a forward for the Tomahawks, was one of my favorite players to watch today. He’s not a big kid but he will throw is body around and is general very hungry for the puck. He could have a bright future.
- One final thought, I really feel for the goaltenders in the NAHL. Many games in this league are high scoring affairs and this may have to do with the goaltenders being very rough. This is not a knock against them. After all, goaltending is the toughest job in the game of hockey and it takes great skill and instinct to make it in the pros. These kids are still learning those instincts and that will take a lot of time and practice. That being said, it must wear on them letting in one goal much less four goals a game.