The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

November 4, 2013

Brothers skate together for first time as members of Johnstown Tomahawks

JOHNSTOWN — Until Sunday afternoon, Johnstown Tomahawks defenseman Mitch Hall never had an opportunity to play on the same team as his younger brother Tommy.

Three years separate the brothers from St. Cloud, Minn.

A second-year Tomahawk, Mitch is 20. Tommy, 17, still is in high school.

“It’s the first time for me, and it’s pretty exciting,” Mitch Hall said after the brothers each skated for the Tomahawks during Sunday’s 4-3 overtime victory over first-place Port Huron at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

“I’ve seen this kid play since he was really little. Being on the same team with him is pretty special. There is a three-year age difference, so this is probably our last opportunity with college coming around.”

At 5-foot-6, 160 pounds, Tommy Hall is significantly smaller in stature than most players on the ice.

In one of the more interesting contrasts, Tommy Hall skated on a line with 6-5 forward Garrison Sanipass throughout the game.

Tommy Hall  didn’t score on Sunday, but he provided a spark with his speed and tenacity.

“Tommy played great,” Tomahawks coach Jason Spence said. “He played hard.

“He’s fast. He’s physical. He’s not that big of a guy, but he’s put together really well. He works out hard. He’s strong. He bangs the body and he’s fast – really fast.”

Mitch Hall has a goal and nine points in 17 games with the Tomahawks this season. Last season he split time between Jamestown and Johnstown, scoring four goals and 13 points in 24 games with the Tomahawks.

 “It’s been one of my dreams to play on the same team as my brother,” Tommy Hall said. “We both tried out for the same high school team when he was a senior and I was a freshman. I ended up not making the team. Then I tried this (during Tomahawks training camp) and in the beginning I ended up not making it. Then I got a call.”

Tommy Hall recently completed his fall season in the Upper Midwest Elite League. He is set to return to St. Cloud Cathedral High School in Minnesota on Nov. 17. Until then, he’ll try to contribute to Johnstown’s NAHL season.

 “He played in an elite league in Minnesota and his season ended a week ago. His high school season doesn’t start until Nov. 17,” Mitch Hall said of his younger brother. “Coach and I talked. He said he’d love to have him here. He’s been out here practicing with us to get a taste of junior hockey.

“He got his shot on the ice and I think he looked pretty well,” Mitch Hall added. “He’s just like a little Energizer Bunny. He’s fast. He loves to hit. He can find the back of the net when he gets his opportunities.”

Tommy Hall savors the opportunity.

“It was real fun. It was really physical,” Tommy Hall said. “It was nice to be a part of that. This is a good team. We played the team that is No. 1 in the standings and won.

“My play is mostly using my body and my speed. I’m not a big guy, but I like to throw it around. I’m an energy guy and that’s what they want from me. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

 

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