The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 3, 2013

Tomahawks look forward to sharing ice with Pens

JOHNSTOWN — Even though he was raised as a Chicago Blackhawks fan, Chris Truehl knows all about Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Truehl, a Johnstown Tomahawks goalie, soon will share the Cambria County War Memorial Arena ice with Fleury, also known as “Flower” to Penguins fans.

“Marc-Andre Fleury has been on every big stage playing for championships,” Truehl said. “He has a Stanley cup. He played in the World Juniors for Canada. He’s a well-known name. It’s going to be awesome to meet him and to be able to see what he can do on the ice.”

Fleury is among a group of locked out Pittsburgh Penguins scheduled to participate in the Johnstown Tomahawks Charity Classic at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the War Memorial.

Tickets for the charity event are $25 and go on sale at 10 a.m. today at the arena. Tickets also may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or Funds will benefit the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation-Haiti and the Johnstown Tomahawks Foundation.

“I was incredibly surprised that we’re going to be able to realize this opportunity,” said Truehl, a 19-year-old from Stoughton, Wisc. “It’s going to be an incredible experience. Not many people will be able to say they’re on the same ice with these guys. It will be good for Western Pennsylvania and Johnstown.”

In addition to Fleury, the Penguins players scheduled to participate in the event are forwards Matt Cooke, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Craig Adams and Joe Vitale; and defensemen Brooks Orpik, Deryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy.

Former Penguin forward Jordan Staal also is to play in the game.

Big announcement: Penguins, Tomahawks to team up for game

Tomahawks and Penguins players will be assigned to the two hybrid teams. The exhibition will not pair the Tier II Junior A Tomahawks against the NHL players.

As of Thursday afternoon, there was no word on whether Penguins star center Sidney Crosby would attend the event either as a player or a special guest.

Tomahawks President Richard Bouchard said the game is set to go on even if the NHL lockout issues would be resolved in the next few days. The NHL and NHLPA negotiations  resumed this week with hopes of salvaging at least part of the season.

“Obviously there is a disclaimer. We’re so close. Anything could happen,” Bouchard said. “But as of now if the lockout ends and the (NHL) training camp begins on (January) 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.”

The Tomahawks have had strong ties to the Penguins throughout their debut season in Johnstown.

Penguins Hall of Fame owner Mario Lemieux dropped the ceremonial first puck in front of a sellout crowd at the home opener. Cooke and Kunitz participated in a promotional event last month, signing autographs and posing for photos for two hours.

“Having Chris Kunitz and Matt Cooke at the game the other weekend was pretty exciting, and now knowing that we get to play with some NHL superstars and Pittsburgh Penguins, it’s going to be a fun game,” said Tomahawks hometown forward Cody Boyd, 18. “It’s going to be an experience for us as a team and for our community to have these players in Johnstown.

“It’s going to be a huge learning experience,” Boyd added. “I could be on a line with Chris Kunitz or Jordan Staal. If they see something I do wrong and they tell me something that can help out, I’m going to listen. They get paid millions of dollars to play the game. They know the game. They can help us out. That will be cool.”

Tomahawks majority owner James Bouchard's business, Esmark, is a Penguins corporate sponsor whose logo has been displayed on the arena boards in recent seasons.

James Bouchard resides near Lemieux and the two are friends.

“My brother Jim has made several trips to Haiti and is very involved in the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation and that’s how this all came to fruition,” Richard Bouchard said. “He made several trips to donate medical supplies over the last few years. Haiti is officially the poorest country in the world. Pittsburgh Kids Foundation has made several trips.

“Dr. Brad Henderson is the president of the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation and between him and my brother, they approached me and said Johnstown would be the perfect fit to raise some money for this great cause.”

The charity event is a win-win situation as far as Tomahawks coach Jason Spence is concerned.

“It’s huge for the players to get the opportunity to play with those NHL players,” Spence said. “It’s a big thing for the community too.

“I was thrilled when I heard about this. We haven’t seen these NHL players play in a long while. This is kind of the first anybody is going to get a chance to see them this year. It’s special. It will be on the ice, a pro game format and they’re going to be playing with my boys.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Penguins 0419 Blue Jackets outlast Pens in double-OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
    Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post and wristed a shot into the open net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0419 Brewers rally to clip Pirates

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area runners gearing for Boston Marathon

    The time was 12:15 p.m. It was Monday April 19, 1897.  Tom Burke had drawn a line across the dirt road with his foot. Eighteen men gathered near Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2014

  • SRU vs UPJ baseball0418 1 UPJ takes one, drops second

    John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
    Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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