The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 20, 2006

MIKE MASTOVICH | Chiefs may be without several players on Saturday

By MIKE MASTOVICH

Leading scorer Maxime Boisclair won’t be in the lineup when the Johnstown Chiefs visit Toledo on Saturday night.

Boisclair earned a promotion to the AHL’s Springfield Falcons after putting up 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) during a 13-game point streak that was snapped in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win over visiting Cincinnati.

The status of goaltender Gerald Coleman and defenseman Brady Greco, however, is a bit clouded.

Coleman injured his groin with 13 seconds left in the first period on Saturday and didn’t return. Initial reports indicated the strain was not serious but Chiefs Vice President of Hockey Operations Ryan Belec is waiting for an update after Coleman returns from a visit to London, Ontario. Coach Frank Anzalone gave the players 21⁄2 days off with a week between games.

“With groin strains, especially with goalies, you can’t rush them back. Whether or not he’s going to miss any game action we won’t know until (today),” Belec said.

Greco’s matter is much more serious. Johnstown police charged Greco with driving without a license, accidents involving personal injury while not being properly licensed, failure to immediately notify police of an accident, recklessly driving, careless driving and not having the required financial responsibility. Greco allegedly fled the scene of a traffic accident early Sunday morning.

Belec said neither the Chiefs nor Tampa Bay Lightning could comment on Tuesday. He said the organization would address the matter when all the details are gathered and scrutinized, a process made more difficult by the break in the schedule that had much of the team, including Belec, out of town.

On a more positive note, Boisclair had 11 goals and 30 points to lead the Chiefs.

His recall continued a trend that has Johnstown’s top scorers moving up the ranks.

Stanislav Lascek was the ECHL’s leading rookie scorer when the Falcons called him last month. He’s still with the AHL club.

Jean Desrochers was leading the Chiefs in points when he was summoned Nov. 3.

Desrochers returned to the Chiefs on Friday after a lengthy stay in Springfield.

Randy Rowe was fronting the Chiefs in points when he was called up to Springfield last week. Rowe remains with the Falcons.

“Like we’ve seen with other players this year, when guys are working hard and realizing some success in Johnstown, more often than not they’re going to get a shot to go up to Springfield,” Belec said. “Max has been playing great hockey over the past month or so and is very deserving of a shot at the American League level.”

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Radio waves: Former Chiefs broadcasters John Michael and Bob McElligott of Somerset talked Chiefs hockey prior to their teams meeting in an AHL game on Friday night.

Michael is the play-by-play man with Springfield. McElligott calls games for the Syracuse Crunch.

“Not surprisingly we started talking about Johnstown and how we enjoyed our time there,” Michael said in an e-mail. “We also talked about not only how many folks with Johnstown ties are now in the AHL and NHL, but how many former Johns-towners were involved in the Springfield-Syracuse game.”

Including Michael and McElligott, 11 people with Johnstown connections were either on the ice or in the radio booth.

Syracuse defenseman Derrick Walser was an all-star for the Chiefs who eventually advanced to the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Rowe scored the fourth goal for Springfield on Friday, and goalie Jonathan Boutin, who played parts of the past two seasons in Johnstown, won his fourth consecutive start.

Other Falcons who played for the Chiefs were Jay Rosehill, John Adams, Doug O’Brien, David Spina, Lascek and Mike Egener.

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From the cookie jar: Chiefs primary owner Jim Weber was back at the War Memorial on Saturday after missing several home games. Weber usually greets fans and listens to their input.

“My wife, Jen, and I run a cookie sale fundraiser in Lancaster,” Weber said of the reason for his absences. “We raised enough funds to feed 500,000 people in Haiti and Jamaica.”

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Northern nuggets: Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Cincinnati tied a club record when 12 players had at least one point in a 7-2 win over Johnstown Friday at U.S. Bank Arena. ... Watch out for the Bombers. Dayton has won six of its last seven games in December. ... Reading’s Greg Hogeboom has a season-high eight-game point streak. ... Toledo lost consecutive games for only the second time this season. ... Like Johnstown’s Boisclair, Trenton’s Mike Pandolfo’s 13-game point streak ended on Saturday. ... Wheeling went 0-for-3 on the power play on Saturday, ending a stretch of eight straight games with a power-play goal.



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