The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 16, 2005

Mike Mastovich | Chiefs find new leaders

After a week of practices, intrasquad scrimmages and exhibition games, leaders have emerged on the Johnstown Chiefs roster.

Count first-year coach Frank Anzalone at the top of the list. Anzalone has run his camp in an efficient, often intense manner.

But what’s perhaps most impressive is that one can see the teacher in Anzalone during just about any practice or game.

The veteran coach will stop a drill to explain exactly what he envisions for his players in specific situations.

He takes his time and makes his point.

The players seem to be responding.

“What are there, now, 25 teams? I can’t see too many teams that are working harder than us,” said fourth-year Chiefs defenseman Ian Manzano. “The last time I went to something this intense was when I was in college.

That’s what Frank tries to bring, a teaching approach.

“I think things are going very well. He is very organized and demanding, but demanding in a good way. Guys are accountable on the ice. That makes a team tighter.”

Manzano is among the leaders of this group.

While he isn’t a player who will shout and wave his fist, Manzano is a steadying influence.

Veterans such as tough winger Jason Spence and forward Dave Stewart are strong presences in any locker room. Goal-scorer Joe Tallari seems to be playing with even more purpose than last year, when he netted 32 goals.

Spence is in his seventh season and second stay with the Chiefs. Stewart, a former captain in Reading, is playing his eighth year. Tallari had 51 points as a rookie last season and earned an AHL call-up to Bridgeport. He attended the New York Islanders training camp.

Former Peoria standout Randy Rowe and seventh-year Chiefs forward Dmitri Tarabrin also have experience and know a thing or two about winning.

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