The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Chiefs

March 27, 2010

Collins’ return provided spark

JOHNSTOWN — It had been nearly two months and 24 games since Dan Collins had played for the Johnstown Chiefs.

Collins made his return a memorable one during Johnstown’s 7-4 victory over the Toledo Walleye in front of 2,700 fans at Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Friday.

The third-year pro from Syracuse, N.Y., scored twice, had four points and rated a plus-4. Collins’ goals each were pivotal. The first came short-handed 6:26 into the second period and pulled the Chiefs within 3-2. The second was the game-winner on a rebound 8:08 into the Chiefs’ five-goal third period.

“Dan is a big part of this team on offense and defense,” said his linemate, Sean Berkstresser, who assisted on both goals. “He’s got some speed. I love playing with him. We’re both pretty quick. We’ve got some chemistry. We’re missing our (injured) center, Matt Myers, but he and I work well together.

“It’s something we have together. We contribute really well together.”

The Chiefs snapped a five-game losing streak on Friday. Their big third period had the crowd into the game and brought some hope to a homestretch that begins with a game against visiting Cincinnati at 2:05 today.

“Everybody is trying to play hard and do what they can for each other,” said Chanse Fitzpatrick, who netted his 29th and 30th goals on Friday. “We have not had any bounces since God knows how long. For us to come out in the third period and perform that way, get some lucky bounces and get some calls, it was awesome.”

Fitzpatrick credited Collins’ return for at least part of the resurgence.

“Dan Collins had a great game,” Fitzpatrick said. “With him, it was good luck all around.”

Chiefs coach Neil Smith said the huge third-period effort probably would not have been possible without Collins’ short-handed goal in the second period.

“He missed two months,” Smith said, referring to a broken bone in Collins’ hand. “It’s great to have him back. I think he inspired the team. He came into the lineup fresh and gave us another dynamic that we maybe were missing. Him and Berkstresser are comfortable together because they played so often together. That really helped us.”

Collins, who had been out since

Jan. 30, felt the Chiefs’ ability to capitalize on both ends of a two-minute

5-on-3 advantage led to the win. Fitzpatrick scored with an assist by Collins to pull Johnstown within 4-3 at 6:01 of the third, and Connor Shields tied the game 11 seconds later.

“The 5-on-3 was big for us to get back in the game,” said Collins, who has nine goals and 28 points in

40 games. “Once we started going, we started believing. We worked hard the whole game. We felt it was our time.

“We earned this one. We didn’t need breaks.”

When the Chiefs added empty-net goals by Jim McKenzie and Fitzpatrick during the final 1:09, the arena erupted with cheers, a scene that was missing too often this season.

“That was like the weight of the world coming off our shoulders,” Collins said. “We had a lot of one-goal games where the other team would come back, force overtime and win the game. That sealed it for us.”

Today’s game

What: Cincinnati vs. Johnstown.

When: 2:05 p.m.

Where: Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

On the air: WNTJ 1490 AM; WNTW 990 AM.

On the Web: www.johnstownchiefs.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Chiefs
  • Edwards honored by ECHL

    December 5, 2013

  • Slapshot Cup expands to 18 teams in second year

    The Slapshot Cup Hockey Tournament has expanded for its second year in Johnstown.

    September 28, 2011

  • ZIGGYS.jpg Former players rally to help ‘Ziggy'

    Randy Rowe felt it was so important to wear the specially designed Ziggy’s Fundraiser sweater that he juggled his schedule and planned a 91⁄2-hour drive from Belleville, Ontario, to Richland Township.

    June 3, 2010 1 Photo

  • chiefs_main.jpg Johnstown sufferes an epic loss

    The final seconds ticked down in the Johnstown Chiefs’ ECHL existence on Saturday night, and even though the hometown team trailed by four goals, a standing-room-only crowd began chanting, “Let’s go Chiefs.”
    That chant would be nothing out of the ordinary on most nights. But this game was the last game.
    Twenty-two ECHL seasons and thousands of memories came to a conclusion when the Chiefs dropped a 5-3 contest to Elmira at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

    April 4, 2010 6 Photos

  • chiefs_sorry.JPG Mike Mastovich: ‘A sad night for Johnstown’

    Scott Allen stood on the New York Islanders bench during Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
    Long Island and the NHL is about as far from Johnstown and the ECHL as one gets on a sunny afternoon.

    April 4, 2010 2 Photos

  • chiefs_banner.JPG Joe Gorden: City teams usually on thin ice

    A sellout crowd turned out on Saturday to say goodbye to the ECHL’s
    Johnstown Chiefs in their last game at Cambria County War Memorial Arena. The irony was obvious.

    April 4, 2010 1 Photo

  • Nailers to play 11 games in Johnstown next year

    The thought of loyal Johnstown Chiefs fans rooting for the Wheeling Nailers might have been difficult to grasp a few months ago.
    But next season, Johnstown’s hockey fans have no other choice.

    April 3, 2010

  • CHIEFS_celebration.jpg Mike Mastovich: 10 Defining moments in Chiefs history

    So, this is it.
    Twenty-two ECHL seasons and 1,518 regular-season games.
    It ends tonight at a sold-out Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

    April 3, 2010 3 Photos

  • Chiefs drop final road game

    The Johnstown Chiefs dropped the final road game in team history on Friday night, falling behind early and failing to catch up to the Cincinnati Cyclones in a 5-1 loss in front of more than 10,000 fans at U.S. Bank Arena.

    April 2, 2010

  • Arena confirms: Wheeling Nailers to play some games in Johnstown next year

    April 2, 2010

Poll

Do you think pet obituaries should be included with death notices?

Yes, my pet is considered a member of the family.
No, pet obituaries are inappropriate.
Pet obituaries should be placed on a different page in the newspaper.
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads