The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

January 22, 2013

Spence, 5 players picked for prospects’ event

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Tomahawks have made an impact as a first-year NAHL team.

The Tier II Junior A league has noticed.

Five Tomahawks will play in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament on Feb. 18-20  in Troy, Mich. Johnstown coach Jason Spence has been named co-coach of the 18U Selects team.

“These guys are going to get a chance to play in front of a lot of scouts, and it’s really good for our program,” Spence said after Tuesday’s announcement. “I was honored to be chosen as a coach of the young prospects team.”

Tomahawks forwards Andrew McDonald, Cody Gylling, captain Mitch Kontny and defenseman Casey Nelson were named to the Great Lakes roster in the Top Prospects Tournament. JB Baker was named to the NAHL 18U Selects team, where he’ll play for Spence and Brookings Blizzard coach Cory Laylin.

The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament at-tracted more than 160 scouts from college and professional teams last year. Nearly every NHL organization and most NCAA Division I programs had representatives in 2012.

More than one third of the players in that tournament eventually landed a NCAA Division I opportunity.

“It’s a great honor for our players and for coach Spence getting recognized in his first season in the league,” Tomahawks President Rick Bouchard said.

The Tomahawks’ solid representation in the event illustrates the strides the Johnstown organization has made in its first season.

Spence’s fourth-place Tomahawks are 19-13-9 with 47 points in the North Division entering Friday and Saturday games against Soo in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

“What it means for the players and our organization is that we are being recognized in the league,” Bouchard said. ”Coach Spence is getting recognized. For the players, 160 scouts will be there from Division I and the pros. Obviously it’s an opportunity for them to be noticed and move on to the Division I level, which is what we’re trying to do, further our players careers and get them scholarships.”

Spence believes his players will represent the city well:

• Andrew McDonald (10 goals, 20 points, 26 games) “is a very smart player. He has a lot of speed. He creates scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates,” Spence said. “He’s also a great guy in the locker room.”

• Cody Gylling (nine goals,

28 points, 40 games) “is a very offensive-minded player and he has breakaway speed,” Spence said. “He’s a real smooth skater but he has a real deceptive shot. It’s really quick and very heavy. He can score from just about anywhere.”

• Mitch Kontny (16 goals, 25 points, 41 games) “is a guy that you want on the ice in the last minute of the game, whether you are up a goal or down a goal,” Spence said. “He’s that guy you want in every situation. He also has a real quick release and a heavy shot.”

• Casey Nelson (eight goals,

24 points, 41 games) “has got great speed and he’s very good at bringing the puck up the ice,” Spence said. “He’s got a really good shot off the wall in the offensive zone. He’s got an eye for the net. He can also dish out big hits.”

• JB Baker (four goals, 11 points,

40 games) turned 18 on Jan. 16 and “is one of our team’s fastest players,” Spence said. “He’s fearless. He’s great on the forecheck. He’s very physical. He throws every bit of weight around that he has. He creates turnovers and opens up a lot of space for other players.”

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

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

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • 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