The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

August 15, 2013

Tomahawks hitting the town

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown will become a hockey town again in 30 days when the Tomahawks open their second season in the North American Hockey League.

But fans will get extensive opportunities over the next month to get better acquainted with the team, as the front office staff has aligned a program of meet-and-greet appearances and community projects to link players with diverse cultural backgrounds to a city with a strong love for the game.

The programs range from housing and humanity projects and visiting regional medical centers, to players delivering season tickets to residences. The initial meet-and-greet program is scheduled to face off on Saturday night in Richland. The junior players, ranging from ages 17-20, are to report to Johnstown this weekend. Practices begin on Monday.

“The program is all about getting the new guys to see the best fans in league,” Tomahawks general manager Rick Boyd said, after the Cambria County War Memorial crammed in more than 4,000 fans to see the team’s inaugural Junior-A game last September. “This is our first real year of a team that we built from the ground up, a product of what the coaches have built. With 17 guys returning for their second season, it’s really our first for building a team and we want to make sure they fit into Johnstown.”

Boyd insists that the programs were put into play by many members of the Tomahawks staff, including members with professional hockey backgrounds who played or started their careers in the city.

“From our marketing staff to our hockey operations ... Our gameday people have done a fabulous job of setting up events and getting the players involved,” Boyd said. “Ultimately, it was a team effort but it was derived by our marketing staff to introduce the team to the community, and help them fall in love with this city and the people.”

Which is what Boyd experienced with the Johnstown Chiefs in six of his eight years as a professional hockey player.

Johnstown director of business operations Jean Desrochers had the same Johnstown experience as a player for the Chiefs for parts of four seasons beginning in 2005. He went on to play two stints in the AHL and coaches the Junior Chiefs squads in the city.

“We want to show the players what Johnstown has to offer,” Desrochers said. “We want them to become a part of the community, become involved, and have those experiences and appreciate it. It sort of a way for our players to give back to the city.”

The Tomahawks open the season on Sept. 14 against Port Huron at the War Memorial.

Mike Burns is the sports editor at The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurnsTD.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • SRU vs UPJ baseball0418 1 UPJ takes one, drops second

    John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
    Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0417 Pirates power past Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
    Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0417 Jackets preparing for Game 2

    The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
    “It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 17, 2014

  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide