The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Pro

May 27, 2008

TV voice started in area

DETROIT — Nearly 30 years ago, Paul Steigerwald was a Red Wing.

That might be difficult to believe considering the Pittsburgh native’s lengthy career with the NHL’s Penguins, who lost to the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Monday at Joe Louis Arena.

Steigerwald, the Penguins’ television play-by-play announcer on Fox Sports Pittsburgh, actually got his start in radio calling games for the Johnstown Red Wings.

Those Johnstown Red Wings struggled through the 1979-80 season. But the Flood City and its hockey tradition had a lasting impact on Steigerwald. He used that sometimes chaotic and colorful season as a stepping stone to join the Penguins organization in the fall of 1980.

“I was looking for a job in the minor leagues and I had taken a job in Hampton (Va.) with a religious station that was only going to carry 22 games,” Steigerwald said prior to the Penguins’ Monday afternoon skate at Joe Louis Arena. “I got an apartment and was ready to move down there.”

Hockey fate intervened. Steigerwald learned of a radio play-by-play opening in Johnstown, where the newly formed Red Wings were part of the second incarnation of the former Eastern Hockey League. The NHL’s Detroit Red Wings ran the hockey operations, though the Johnstown team was under a local ownership group.

The former WJNL radio station in Cover Hill carried the 70 local Red Wings games.

“I played my audition tape, which happened to be a game between the Penguins and Detroit Red Wings,” Steigerwald recalled. “I taped myself in the balcony of the Civic Arena and actually had myself calling a Penguins and Red Wings game.

“I played my tape over the phone to a guy named Bill Confer who was working at the radio station WJNL in Johnstown. He knew of my brother (John) because my brother was on TV in Pittsburgh. The name rung a bell. He listened to the tape over the phone and said ‘It sounds good.’ ”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0414 Pressure on Penguins to capture Cup

    The statistics are gaudy.
    And if the Pittsburgh Penguins can’t find a way to extend their season into the final days of spring, ultimately forgettable.
    The same team that led the NHL in man games lost due to injury (more than 500) also earned 109 points, led the Metropolitan Division from mid-October on and received another peerless effort from star Sidney Crosby, who topped the league with 104 points and is a near lock for the second MVP award of his career.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

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
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads