The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Mike Mastovich

January 6, 2013

No news, good news for Charity Classic

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Tomahawks Charity Classic sold out in a Cambria County War Memorial Arena-record 7 minutes.

The charity game set to feature members of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the NAHL’s Johnstown Tomahawks on Wednesday night quickly became the talk of the region and a feel-good story in the midst of the drawn-out NHL lockout.

Now that the lockout is set to end and the NHL will soon return to the ice, many of the people who purchased tickets to the Tomahawks Charity Classic had mixed emotions. Sure, local hockey fans were ecstatic about having an opportunity to once again watch NHL games and their Penguins during a season that seemed headed into lockout oblivion. But,  based on social media activity, phone calls, emails and text messages to the media, there also is a bit of apprehension in the minds of ticket holders wondering exactly how the lockout’s pending resolution will affect the big charity event in Johnstown.

Neither Tomahawks President Richard Bouchard nor Director of Business Operations Jean Desrochers returned multiple phone calls on Sunday.

Tomahawks media relations director Suzanne Grove said the team had no official word regarding any changes to the game as a result of the lockout deal. Grove said the team would issue a statement if any news broke.

“As of right now, there are no changes to the scheduled game,” Grove said Sunday night. “If there are any changes of any kind, our fans will be the first to know.”

For now, perhaps the best approach is to reflect on what Bouchard said when the Charity Classic was announced last week.

When asked on Wednesday what would happen if the NHL lockout ended prior to the Tomahawks Charity Classic being played, Bouchard said, “Obviously there is a disclaimer. We’re so close. Anything could happen. But as of now if the lockout ends and the training camp begins on (Jan.) 12 or 13, the game is still on unless the Penguins would order the players not to play. Anything can happen, but as of now the game is on.”

Players such as Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Cooke, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis and Brooks Orpik were among those listed on the hybrid rosters released by the Tomahawks on Friday.

Bouchard previously said commemorative uniforms have been ordered and are expected to arrive Tuesday. He has three NHL officials to work the game.

At $25 a pop, and with just shy of 4,000 seats listed as the War Memorial’s current hockey capacity, close to $100,000 in ticket revenue had been generated – in 7 minutes. Ticket sales and other fundraisers will help two charities, Pittsburgh Kids Foundation-Haiti and Johnstown Tomahawks Foundation.

A decision by higher powers to cancel an event that has created so much goodwill among fans now twice burned by NHL lockouts in the past decade just wouldn’t be logical.

But, hey, this is the NHL. Business is business.

The league and its players have bigger issues at hand than a charity event, even if that event is one of the biggest hockey spectacles planned for the Johnstown region in decades.

If it doesn’t fit into the NHL owners’ and players’ schedules, that’s understandable. Hockey is their livelihood and they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do.

We’ve waited 113 days and counting for lockout-related answers. We’ll wait a little longer.

Unlike most of the lockout, however, in this instance, no news is good news for Johnstown fans.

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Mike Mastovich
  • Mastovich, Mike Mike Mastovich | Juniors bring fresh flavor to 61st Amateur

    The Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions has attracted some of the best young golfers in the game during the past six decades.
    Tiger Woods was a teenager when he played the Sunnehanna Country Club course.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mastovich, Mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Simon aiming for second life

    Geroy Simon never allowed obstacles or naysayers’ opinions to deter him throughout a career as the most prolific receiver in the history of the Canadian Football League.
    So, when Geroy says the primary goal in his post-playing career is to become a general manager, it probably isn’t wise to bet against the Greater Johnstown High School graduate.

    June 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike color.JPG MIKE MASTOVICH| Huskies hot again this season

    Cosie Aliquo heard people talking about how talented his Bishop Carroll boys’ basketball team is this season.
    He’s read the preseason news clippings and certainly noticed that the Huskies were ranked third in the state in one Class A preseason poll.

    December 14, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Shaffer revitalizes Richland's passing game

    Two years ago, Brandon Bailey saw potential in a tall, strong-armed quarterback looking to establish himself in the Richland High program.
    Matt Shaffer was a sophomore splitting the quarterback duties with classmate Nico Pecora back then.

    November 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH | Berlin's Fochtman rushing into lead

    Braden Fochtman always seems to be in a rush on the football field.
    How else do you explain his area-best 1,042 rushing yards through five weeks of the scholastic season?
    But the Berlin Brothersvalley sophomore back actually has been a much more patient runner this season, and that’s made a significant difference to the undefeated Mountaineers’ success.

    October 3, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike color.JPG MIKE MASTOVICH| Experienced players valuable for Meyersdale

    Gavin Berkley will make his 34th career start when undefeated Meyersdale hosts once-beaten Portage on Friday night.
    The Red Raiders senior two-way standout has experienced plenty of highs and lows during the past three-plus seasons.

    September 19, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Rule waiver soothes concerns

    Dean Albany felt a sense of baseball relief late Wednesday night.
    For days, even weeks, the Youse’s Maryland Orioles of Baltimore GM had pondered the possibility of life without the the AAABA Tournament this summer and perhaps beyond.

    July 24, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike.JPG MIKE MASTOVICH| Hot times for two AAABA League teams

    Two AAABA League franchises have heated up as the temperatures soared this month.
    The Berkley Hills Renegades beat First Commonwealth 11-1 on Wednesday, the defending champs’ seventh consecutive victory.
    Manager Larry McCabe’s team has won 11 of its past 12 games and now has a 22-12 record, good for second place and 31⁄2 games behind league-leading Delweld.

    July 17, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Shirley lifting Renegades

    Jason Shirley provides the Berkley Hills Renegades with offensive punch and speed on the base paths, a combination that will be important if the defending champions are to challenge for a spot atop the AAABA League standings.
    Shirley is batting a league-high .458 (22-for-48) through 22 games. The Youngstown State University product also has eight stolen bases in nine attempts.

    July 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH | Mazey scholarship continues legacy

    Forrest Mazey was a fixture at Point Stadium and baseball diamonds throughout the region.

    July 3, 2013 1 Photo


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads