The Johnstown Tomahawks were back on the ice on Thursday as training camp continued at North Central Recreation Center in Ebensburg.
During another two-hour on-ice session, head coach Mike Letizia was preaching two things for every drill the team participated in; Speed and accountability.
All the players that took part in the on-ice practice provided both. One player that was showing tremendous speed was returning forward Mitchell Hale. Hale also was consistent on his defensive plays throughout practice.
Hale, who’s entering his second full season with the Tomahawks, appeared in 56 games for the Tomahawks last season. He had 5 goals, 11 assists, which was good for 16 points. He was second on the team in penalty minutes with, 140.
A newcomer to the Tomahawks, who also showed great speed, was, Joey Baez. Baez, also showed his scoring upside scoring several goals during the team’s various drills.
“(Baez is a) young player, but (has) a real high ceiling. A lot of skill. Works his butt off,” head coach Mike Letizia said after Tuesday’s practice. That work ethic and skill was still on display during Thursday’s session.
The team also showed their accountability, not only to the coach and their teammates, but to their individual selves.
During the first few drills that consisted of getting shots on net, players that missed the net, hit the ice to do pushups. Needless to say, a lot of pucks were on their mark.
“This years camp is really fast paced. Everyone’s come to play,” said Tomahawks’ returning forward, Roman Kraemer.
Kramer played 6 games for Johnstown last year. In his short time with the team he made an impact, scoring 1 goal and assisting on 3 others. Kramer also played all three playoff games for Johnstown, where he had two more assists.
Thursday’s practice was divided into two parts. The first part was focused on individual shooting and skating drills. After an ice cleaning by the Zamboni, the players returned to the ice and focused more on team play.
The team will continue to practice at NCRC until later next week when the team will move back to their regular home, the newly named, 1st Summit Bank Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial