The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 3, 2010

Mike Mastovich: 10 Defining moments in Chiefs history


JOHNSTOWN — 4. The playoff upset over Roanoke, April 8, 2000. The Chiefs had missed the playoffs four consecutive seasons. Early in that stretch, players refused to report to Johnstown and agents advised their clients to avoid the city.

One Norfolk, Va., newspaper columnist had labeled Johnstown a non-entity. But that image began to change in the late 1990s under GM Toby O’Brien and coach Allen.

Finally, the Chiefs advanced to the 2000 postseason for a series against heavily favored Northeast Division champion Roanoke.

With Deschenes posting two shutouts and nearly getting a third, the Chiefs upset the Express, winning the series-clinching fourth game in Roanoke.

5. Mark Green scoring 50 goals in 50 games, Feb. 15, 1992. The 6-foot-4 left wing from Clarkson became the first and only player in Johnstown hockey history to net 50 goals in the first 50 games of a season. A rookie, Green needed two goals on this historic night against the Raleigh IceCaps. A sellout crowd of 4,040 at the War Memorial saw history when Green tallied his second of the night 8:22 into the second period of a 5-4 win. Defenseman Dave MacIntyre played the puck off the boards in the defensive zone and sent a long pass toward Green, who was just inside the red line. Ferreira tipped the puck just in time to prevent what back then would have been called a two-line pass. Green skated to the left circle and faked Raleigh defenseman Kris Miller before beating goalie Mike Mudd high on the right side.

6. Jeff Ricciardi’s overtime goal in a one-game play-in, March 17, 1993. A defenseman, Ricciardi had scored seven goals in 61 regular season games. But he saved his best for a one-game play-in against visiting Richmond. Ricciardi’s shot from along the boards deflected off an opponent’s skate and into the net 8:47 into overtime.

“I don’t know what happened,” Ricciardi said after the goal. “They say in overtime to put everything on net and maybe you’ll get lucky.”

He did.

A small crowd went ballistic as Ricciardi, who didn’t have many opportunities to celebrate, skated end to end, waving his right fist in a circle while almost kneeling on one leg. Chiefs captain Perry Florio was so excited on the bench, he gripped coach Eddie Johnstone in a bear hug, forgetting that only days before Johnstone had separated his shoulder during a collision in practice. Johnstone winced in pain.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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