JOHNSTOWN — The Hanson Brothers would be pleased.
“You need to take it to the other team,” said Bill Blanset, head coach of the new Johnstown Jets Junior Hockey Club.
“Hockey is a game that is meant to be played physical.”
Blanset, of Altoona, was introduced along with other members of the newly formed junior team at a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
The new organization joins eight others in the United Junior Hockey League, based in Wilmington, Del. One step below pro, the independent Junior A Tier III hockey league is geared to kids ages 15 to 20 with the goal of seeing young players move up to either the collegiate level or the pro level.
“The whole point is to showcase the kids,” said Jimi Simmons, president of the club and co-owner of the team.
Games will be played on Saturdays and Sundays so school is not interrupted.
“Our first and main goal is ... our players, with education first and hockey second,” the mission statement for the league reads.
The team will be comprised of 25 players. Tryouts will be held sometime in June or early July at Planet Ice. More information on tryouts will be available on the club’s Web site starting Monday.
Games will be played at the War Memorial with practices held at the North Central Recreation Center in Ebensburg.
Simmons said he would like to see some form of a partnership with the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs, perhaps with club games played before Chiefs games.
Tickets to Jets games will be $6 for adults and $3 for students.
There is a 52-game schedule
Simmons said that although the league is only in its second year, it is expanding and he has great hopes for the new franchise.
One of the keys to the team’s survival is for management to be honest with parents, he said. He was up front about costs involved for the players.
“It is pay-to-play” he said. The cost is $6,800 with travel and some gear included.
No players are paid to play for the team.
Simmons hopes to see a corporate sponsor defray costs.
The first player to sign with the team was also introduced at the press conference. The young goalie, Scott Van Horn of Pittsburgh, plans to relocate to Johns-town to play with the team.
Blanset has been involved in hockey since 1966 as a player, coach and referee
“I’m very pleased to have this opportunity,” he said. “Johns-town has a great history of hockey.”
Blanset, who said he has been coming to Johnstown to watch hockey for nearly 20 years, was not the league’s first choice for head coach.
“I initially signed on as assistant coach,” he said. Problems with immigration kept a Canadian coach from making the move, so Blanset took the position.
He said he is looking forward to the challenge.
Blanset has a son who plays for another UJHL team, the Wooster Oilers, based in Ohio.
“When they come to Johns-town to play, it’s going to be fun,” he said.
“I’ve coached him for years, I’ve just never coached against him.”
Further information is available at www.johnstownjets.com or www.theujhl.com.
JOHNSTOWN — The Hanson Brothers would be pleased.
- High School Sports
Bishop Carroll boys continue in playoffs
Bishop Carroll trailed just once on Friday in its PIAA Class A first-round contest against Clarion-Limestone at Richland High School.
After that early 3-0 deficit, the Huskies never looked back rolling to a dominating 81-42 victory over the Lions.
North Catholic rolls over Berlin in Class A
Berlin Brothersvalley had a hot start and an uptempo finish in the PIAA Class A boys’ basketball playoffs on Friday night at Pitt-Johnstown.
But Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic rode 6-foot-9 senior center Dominic Robb inside, and used an 11-0 spurt to open the third quarter to pull away in a 56-44 victory at the Sports Center.
Somerset eliminated from Class AAA tourney
Lancaster Mennonite unleashed its offensive arsenal against Somerset on Friday night in first-round PIAA Class AAA basketball tournament action at Richland High School.
The second and fourth quarters were the downfall for the Golden Eagles who fell behind in the second and could never quite get back on track, falling 70-44.
Richland's Pecora is one of two local wrestlers in state finals
It has never been easy for Nico Pecora to just be himself on the wrestling mat.
He’s always been the son of legendary Pitt-Johnstown coach Pat Pecora. And the younger brother of standout Marco Pecora.
Richland rolling forward
Richland High’s boys’ basketball team made history last weekend. Now, the Rams want to add a few more details to this memorable story.
Coach Greg Burke’s team won the program’s first District 6 boys’ basketball title since 1975 in convincing fashion over Central on March 1.
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Bedford’s Garrett Thomas said he wasn’t nervous at all.
United’s Tyler Oliver admitted that he was, even if he told his coaches that he wasn’t.
And Richland’s Nico Pecora said the pressure is on his family members, not him.
Nervous or not, those three, who were making their state tournament debuts, and six other local wrestlers won their first match at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships on Thursday morning to qualify for today’s quarterfinal round.
Day 1 gives ups and downs for region
There was plenty of talk about roller coasters on Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center, but it had nothing to do with the thrill rides across the parking lot at Hersheypark.
It was all about the ups and downs of the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships.
Berlin boys wary of Trojans’ size, athleticism
On the same night last week that Berlin Brothersvalley was winning its first District 5-A title since 2007, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic was losing to eventual champion Lincoln Park in the WPIAL quarterfinals.
The Mountaineers (23-2), one of three area boys district champions set to begin opening-round action in the PIAA playoffs tonight, and Trojans (15-10) will square off this evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center, site of Berlin’s 65-51 district championship win over Forbes Road.
Area wrestlers search for gold
Conner Buttry and Aaron Burkett will make their debuts in the PIAA Wrestling Championships this morning, but they are quite familiar with a state tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Each has been a fixture on the Chestnut Ridge squad that has made back-to-back appearances in the state dual-meet tournament. That familiarity could help them, along with returning state medalist Austin Buttry, when the three Lions hit the mats in Hershey this morning.
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