Last year for the Johnstown Tomahawks, Holt Oliphant had 12 goals and 19 assists in 53 games. As one of very few players returning from last year’s roster, Oliphant hopes to help to set the tone for camp and the new players competing for their spots on the roster.
“It’s great to be back in Johnstown,” said Oliphant in a conversation with fellow returner, Dusty Geregach. “It’s always fun being back and getting to see the new group of guys. I’m really excited to get things started again in late August.”
Despite coming up short last season, Oliphant is still motivated to help the team find success and go above and beyond to do so this season.
“I think we’re really going to have to set the tone for the new guys coming in,” said Oliphant. “We’re going to have to show the new guys how we want to play. We want to be a hard team to play against. We want other teams to come into our building and be ready to battle.”
While there are a lot of new faces at main camp this year, one sticks out above the rest for the Tomahawks veteran.
Younger brother to Holt, Mack Oliphant, was in Johnstown this year for main camp. The brothers played together for Team Red and won in four of their five games played over three days.
“I think camp has been going really well,” said Mack. “There’s lots of competition out there. It’s been fun being on the ice and playing again.”
Despite being brothers, both Holt and Mack have a very different playing style to them. While Holt is a forward, Mack, who is a defenseman, describes himself as a “big, versatile defenseman” who also likes to get involved in offensive play as well.
“I like to jump up in on the rush and get involved in the o-zone,” said Mack. “I like to take some shots on net and get some points for the team.”
This is not the first time the Oliphant brothers have been on the ice together though. Just two years ago in the 2019-20 season, the two were teammates at Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts, where they combined for 33 points in 27 games.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Holt about having his brother with him at camp this summer. “We’ve only played together once our whole careers, so it’s a lot of fun having a brother on the team and having family here with me. It adds a little something extra and it’s really fun.”
This year’s Tomahawks Main Camp consisted of just over 100 players looking to make the Tomahawks roster for the upcoming season. The four-day camp saw six teams play a total of five games each over three days. Six teams were cut down to two on Tuesday and the remaining players participated in the All-Star Game that morning. After that, final cuts were made and the completed roster for training camp was set.
Training Camp is set to begin on August 23, followed quickly by the beginning of the season which kicks off September 15 in Minnesota for day one of four of the NAHL Showcase. The following weekend, division play begins as the Tomahawks head to Massachusetts to face off against the Northeast Generals for their first weekend series of the season on September 24 and 25.
There’s still time to secure either full or flex season tickets for the 2021-22 season by applying online or calling the Tomahawks office at (814) 536-4625. The Tomahawks home opener is scheduled for Saturday, October 2 against the Maryland Black Bears.