As a hockey fan, Cambria County War Memorial Arena Acting General Manager Tom Grenell hopes the Johnstown Tomahawks sweep their upcoming best-of-three North American Hockey League playoff series.
However, as a businessman, he knows if the hometown team needs a third game to eliminate the Port Huron Fighting Falcons, it could be good for the facility’s bottom line.
So, from his perspective, any way Johnstown advances in the tournament would be good.
The Tomahawks (27-21-12) and Fighting Falcons (32-24-4) are set to face off in the first two games of their North Division play-in series in Port Huron on Thursday and Friday. Both games are set for 7 p.m.
If Johnstown, a first-year team, wins both, local fans will get to celebrate right away.
“I would prefer to see the Tomahawks win in two because I’m a Tomahawks fan and that would give us more games in the next round,” said Grenell.
But, if Johnstown splits the two contests in Michigan, then the third and deciding game would be held at the War Memorial on Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m.
“We’re hoping they win more than anything else, but, if we do end up with a split series, we’re excited,” Grenell said.
Local businesses could similarly benefit from either a Tomahawks sweep or third game held in town. “I would love to see them win it all up in Port Huron, but I would love to see them here again, too,” said Scott McLachlan, owner of Scott’s By Dam, a bar/restaurant, located at 327 Market St,, only a short walk away from the arena.
A Sunday afternoon playoff game would likely bring a large crowd to the downtown region, which would benefit local restaurants.
“Any time that there’s a game at the arena, it’s positive for our business,” said Pizza Deli Six Pack owner Brian Basile.
If a third game is needed, tickets will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. through the War Memorial box office, Ticketmaster and JohnstownTomahawks.com.
What: Port Huron Fighting Falcons vs. Johnstown Tomahawks in Game 3 of their North American Hockey League playoff series.
Where: Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
When: 3 p.m. Sunday, if necessary.
Tickets: Will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday if the teams split games 1 and 2 in Port Huron on Thursday and Friday.