The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

January 18, 2013

Tomahawks salute local hockey history

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Tomahawks will recognize the city’s professional and amateur hockey history this weekend at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

The Michigan Warriors visit tonight and Saturday, with the latter date tabbed as Hockey Heritage Night.

“It’s mostly about celebrating over 70 years of hockey programs in Johnstown,” Tomahawks Director of Business Operations Jean Desrochers said of Saturday’s promotion.

Tomahawks coach Jason Spence is more concerned about recent history against Michigan, the last-place team in the North Division.

Johnstown played three games in as many nights in Flint, Mich., earlier this month. The Warriors won all three, with two finals in regulation and one in a shootout. Prior to that weekend, Johnstown had been on a 10-3-1 run.

“They’re a good team. They work extremely hard and apply a lot of pressure,” Spence said of the Warriors. “We went over that video and learned a lot from it.”

The fourth-place Tomahawks halted a six-game losing skid with a convincing 6-2 win over first-place Soo on Sunday at the War Memorial. The slump included a home shootout loss to Kalamazoo on New Year’s Eve followed by those three setbacks at Michigan on Jan. 4 (4-2), Jan. 5 (2-1 in a shootout) and Jan. 6 (8-1). The ‘Hawks dropped a pair at home against Port Huron, including a shootout, before bouncing back.

Michigan’s three-game winning streak over the Tomahawks represents nearly one-fourth of the Warriors’ 13 victories.

“We have to use our strengths and make sure that we’re playing with the speed that we have,” Spence said. “We want to make sure that we get into a game where we’re forcing the mistakes and not sitting back and waiting. We need to pressure.”

Johnstown’s line of Andrew McDonald, Connor Wright and Zach Wallace reunited and had the hot hand against Soo, accounting for three goals and four assists.

McDonald is second on the team with 10 goals and 20 points in 24 games with the Tomahawks.

Cody Gylling tops the statistics with 27 points, followed by McDonald, captain Mitch Kontny (24 points, four power-play goals), Casey Nelson (24 points, five power-play goals, 135 shots) and Brandon Reinholz (21 points, six power-play goals).

“Andrew McDonald really picked it up last weekend,” Spence said. “Him, Zach Wallace and Connor Wright had a great game on Sunday. We’re going to try to build off of that game and go from there.”

Goaltenders Chris Truehl (9-5-4, 2.44, .924) and Colin Brennan (6-5-4, 2.65, .908) split time in net.

The Tomahawks also had an eye to the future on Thursday, tendering two prospects. The players’ right belong to the Tomahawks for the 2013-14 season.

Johnstown General Manager Rick Boyd announced the tender offers to defenseman Shane Cuckovich and forward Trevor Recktenwald.

Cuckovich is a product of the highly-touted HoneyBaked Midget Major hockey club and Recktenwald currently plays for the Pittsburgh Viper Stars 18U team.

 “They’re signed with us for next season,” Spence said.

The Hockey Heritage Night will include displays filled with memorabilia and photos of various pro and amateur hockey teams to play in Johnstown since the former Blue Birds franchise first played at Shaffer Ice Palace in 1941-42.

In addition to the pro teams such as the Chiefs, Jets, Wings and Red Wings, Desrochers said the event is intended to spotlight youth hockey.

Approximately 100 youth hockey players will join the Tomahawks on the ice prior to the ceremonial opening face-off dropped by Johnstown Jets legend Don Hall, the prolific goal-scorer whose No. 9 jersey was retired.

“I think it’s pretty special,” Spence said. “When a lot of people think of history in Johnstown, they think of hockey. It’s not the biggest town in the world, but everybody knows where it is and everybody knows the history.

“A lot of the former players are still around. Everybody remembers them. It’s special to me because I was fortunate to be a part of that history. My favorite years in hockey were playing in that building.”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Penguins 0421 Penguins finish hot to grab 2-1 series lead

    Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Jussi Jokinen scored in a span of 2:13 of the third period to revive the Penguins from yet another two-goal deficit in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0421 Pirates walk off against Reds to halt home skid

    Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.
    Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 before Davis’ fourth-inning homer off Mike Leake.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sitting Bulls bring home national sled hockey title

    The Johnstown Sitting Bulls disabled sled hockey team recently won a national championship.
    The team, comprised of disabled athletes from Cambria, Somerset, Indiana, Bedford and Blair counties, finished first in the Youth B Division at the USA Hockey National Disabled Hockey Festival held April 11-13 in Marlborough, Mass.

    April 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 21, 2014

  • Pirates Brawl 0420 Brewers top Pirates in game highlighted by dustup

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Football team ends boycott of embattled coach

    Minnesota State University-Mankato’s football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
    Hoffner said he assured the players, who refused to take the practice field Wednesday, that interim coach Aaron Keen, who led the team in Hoffner’s absence, will continue in a major role with the team.

    April 20, 2014

  • Penguins 0420a Game 3 pivotal for both teams

    Not so long ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets were the worst team in the NHL.
    Now they’re heading home for tonight’s Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the star-studded Pittsburgh Penguins, hoping to make even more history.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0419 Blue Jackets outlast Pens in double-OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
    Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post and wristed a shot into the open net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0419 Brewers rally to clip Pirates

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area runners gearing for Boston Marathon

    The time was 12:15 p.m. It was Monday April 19, 1897.  Tom Burke had drawn a line across the dirt road with his foot. Eighteen men gathered near Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2014