The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

March 21, 2006

Chiefs try to shore up depleted unit

The Johnstown Chiefs were desperate for a healthy goaltender late last week.

Over the weekend, the Chiefs earned five of a possible six points with a rookie from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in net.

On Monday, the team looked to make stronger a goaltending corps that will be needed down the stretch as the playoff-bound Chiefs play seven of their final nine games on the road.

Goaltender Josh Disher, whose rights are owned by the New Jersey Devils but is playing for the Major Junior Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters, signed a contract with the Chiefs Monday, General Manager Toby O’Brien said.

Disher, the 2004 sixth-round draft choice of the Devils, is the career leader in wins with the Otters, earning 72 in 168 games. The 20-year-old netminder also set a scoreless-streak record in Erie, playing 246 minutes and 50 seconds – equivalent to more than four games – of shutout hockey.

“He is a (draft pick) with the Devils and the only stipulation is that he is available for recall by New Jersey,”O’Brien said. “If he gets an opportunity to go up, that’s great for his career. We are just fortunate that there was a relationship with him from a few years back and it just all fell into place for us. We basically have two healthy goalies now.”

The 6-foot, 166-pound native of Oakville, Ontario spent three years with the Otters, compiling a record of 72-66-25.

“Josh is a 20-year old who has played a ton of hockey the last three years in Erie,” O’Brien said. “He is the all-time games-played leader and wins leader. Team MVP one year, MVP of the playoffs another year. This year, they were a very young team and didn’t make the playoffs so, fortunately, he was available.”

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