In this episode of the “Red Light Sports Ramble”Ã‚Â (presented by the Red Light Sports Network), Evan and Troy welcome Head Coach Jason Spence to talk about Johnstown Tomahawk hockey. Ã‚Â Coach Spence is no stranger to the Johnstown area, he played in 262 regular season games for the Johnstown Chiefs. Ã‚Â Before becoming a coach, he played professional hockey for 10 seasons in multiple cities.
This is his second season as the Head Coach; last year he led the Johnstown Tomahawk hockey team to the Robertson Cup Playoffs. This years’ team is on the brink of another playoff appearance as they are currently tied for second place in the NAHL’s North Division. Ã‚Â The NAHL playoff format varies from that of the NHL. Ã‚Â The top four teams in each division make the playoffs. Ã‚Â The number one seed will play the fourth seed, while the second seed plays the third seed in a best of 5 series. Ã‚Â The winners of these series face off against each other to claim the Divisional Round. Ã‚Â The remaining four teams are then seeded according to the regular season standings for the next rounds.
The NAHL is a developmental league. Ã‚Â The purpose of the league is to help young players receive opportunities to play hockey in college. Ã‚Â The Johnstown Tomahawks have had players receive full ride scholarships and those that have played at the Division III level. Ã‚Â Players come from all around the country through a NAHL draft and the three tryout camps that each team is allowed. Ã‚Â Coach Spence puts emphasis on these tryout camps: as he stated, some of his top players this year came from camp. Ã‚Â Unlike professional hockey where contracts are offered, this is a non pay league. Ã‚Â A player is not eligible to play hockey in college if they have been paidÃ‚Â to play hockey, unless they sit out a year after being enrolled in that school.
Listen to the boys interview Head Coach Jason Spence from the Johnstown Tomahawks on this episode of theÃ‚Â “Red Light Sports Ramble”.