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
  • 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

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
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