The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Tomahawks

September 28, 2012

Tomahawks captain feels at home

JOHNSTOWN — Mitch Kontny recently relocated from Palmer, Alaska, to Johnstown.

Though he and 11 other teammates actually traversed some 4,000 miles southeast, Kontny feels the group of Junior A Tier II players actually moved up in the hockey world.

Kontny captains the Johnstown Tomahawks team that will make its Cambria County War Memorial Arena debut on Saturday night. Oh, by the way, a certain Hockey Hall of Famer named Mario Lemieux just happens to be stopping by to drop the ceremonial first puck for the 7:30 p.m. contest.

“Everything is coming along, the rink, everything is so nice and we’re so excited to get ready for this weekend,” said Kontny, who is counting on a sellout crowd to help spark the Tomahawks (1-3-2) in their home opener. “It looks like a professional rink. Everything is just perfect. The locker room is amazing. You couldn’t ask for anything different.”

The 20-year-old forward from Superior, Mich., is in his second NAHL season. Last year, he tallied 18 goals and 39 points in 56 games with the former Alaska Avalanche – the NAHL franchise whose move to Johnstown was announced in April.

With a goal and an assist in six games this season, Kontny made an impression on first-year head coach Jason Spence, the former blue-collar Johnstown Chiefs forward.

“Mitch wears his heart on his sleeve,” Spence said. “He’s the kind of player that can do a little bit of everything. He’s physical. He can shoot the puck. He sticks up for teammates. He’s a real character type of player.”

Kontny saw plenty of familiar faces in the Tomahawks locker room. Other Alaska-to-Johnstown returnees are: Defensemen Kristaps Bazevics, Casey Nelson, Jesse Kessler and Jeff Bergh; forwards Evan Hesse, Cobi Smith-Mass, Brandon Brossoit, Codey Hansen, Connor Wright, Jordan Watt; and goaltender Bodhi Engum.

The lineup also includes a player with local ties, 6-1 forward Cody Boyd, son of Tomahawks GM Rick Boyd – the former Johnstown Chiefs tough guy and fiery captain. The younger Boyd played 24 games for the NAHL’s Bismark Bobcats last season.

The Tomahawks have a Pennsylvania flavor with four Keystone State representatives as well as players from places ranging from Riga, Latvia, to Sunland Valley, Calif.

“Everyone gets along really well,” Kontny said. “We’re coming together as a family like every good hockey team does.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Tomahawks
  • Intense camp ends for Tomahawks

    July 28, 2014

  • Tomahawks Camp - Eckenrod Local players in camp with Tomahawks

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mike Letizia Tomahawks hand reins to former assistant

    Introductions? Orientations? Neither was necessary when the Johnstown Tomahawks named their new head coach on Tuesday morning.
    The new guy in charge handled the job for the past month and has been part of the organization since the North American Hockey League team moved to Johnstown in 2012.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAHL coming to Connellsville

    The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the Port Huron Fighting Falcons are reactivating and relocating their membership to Connellsville.
    The team will be renamed the Keystone Ice Miners and will start play next season.

    May 10, 2014

  • spence Tomahawks decide not to renew coach’s contract

    Rick Boyd didn’t look forward to his conversation with Jason Spence on Monday.
    The Johnstown Tomahawks general manager and the NAHL organization had made a difficult and potentially unpopular decision to not renew Spence’s contract as the Tomahawks coach.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spence, Jason Tomahawks won't renew Spence's contract

    The Johnstown Tomahawks will not renew head coach Jason Spence’s contract for the 2014-15 NAHL season, the team announced on Tuesday.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • horizontal hawks Fighting Falcons win playoff series against Tomahawks

    The third period of Game 3 of the NAHL North Division semifinal served as a quick primer of the Johnstown Tomahawks’ playoff fortunes against top-seeded Port Huron.
    Trailing by two goals going into the third, the Tomahawks ramped up the intensity, producing a goal early and a multitude of chances at an equalizer until the game’s final moments when goaltender Max Milosek stopped Jordan Watt’s breakaway try as the Cambria County War Memorial Arena’s horn sounded.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • ’Hawks need a win to survive

    At the moment, it’s not about advancing through the postseason for the Johnstown Tomahawks. It’s simply a case of surviving to play another day.

    April 11, 2014

  • Falcons clip Tomahawks in overtime

    The Johnstown Tomahawks squandered a pair of two-goal leads and fell 4-3 in overtime to Port Huron in Game 2 of the North Division semifinals on Friday night.
    Johnstown trails the best-of-5 series 2-0 and will try to avoid elimination when the series moves to Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Friday.

    April 5, 2014

Poll

Do you think pet obituaries should be included with death notices?

Yes, my pet is considered a member of the family.
No, pet obituaries are inappropriate.
Pet obituaries should be placed on a different page in the newspaper.
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads