The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Tomahawks

August 15, 2013

Tomahawks hitting the town

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown will become a hockey town again in 30 days when the Tomahawks open their second season in the North American Hockey League.

But fans will get extensive opportunities over the next month to get better acquainted with the team, as the front office staff has aligned a program of meet-and-greet appearances and community projects to link players with diverse cultural backgrounds to a city with a strong love for the game.

The programs range from housing and humanity projects and visiting regional medical centers, to players delivering season tickets to residences. The initial meet-and-greet program is scheduled to face off on Saturday night in Richland. The junior players, ranging from ages 17-20, are to report to Johnstown this weekend. Practices begin on Monday.

“The program is all about getting the new guys to see the best fans in league,” Tomahawks general manager Rick Boyd said, after the Cambria County War Memorial crammed in more than 4,000 fans to see the team’s inaugural Junior-A game last September. “This is our first real year of a team that we built from the ground up, a product of what the coaches have built. With 17 guys returning for their second season, it’s really our first for building a team and we want to make sure they fit into Johnstown.”

Boyd insists that the programs were put into play by many members of the Tomahawks staff, including members with professional hockey backgrounds who played or started their careers in the city.

“From our marketing staff to our hockey operations ... Our gameday people have done a fabulous job of setting up events and getting the players involved,” Boyd said. “Ultimately, it was a team effort but it was derived by our marketing staff to introduce the team to the community, and help them fall in love with this city and the people.”

Which is what Boyd experienced with the Johnstown Chiefs in six of his eight years as a professional hockey player.

Johnstown director of business operations Jean Desrochers had the same Johnstown experience as a player for the Chiefs for parts of four seasons beginning in 2005. He went on to play two stints in the AHL and coaches the Junior Chiefs squads in the city.

“We want to show the players what Johnstown has to offer,” Desrochers said. “We want them to become a part of the community, become involved, and have those experiences and appreciate it. It sort of a way for our players to give back to the city.”

The Tomahawks open the season on Sept. 14 against Port Huron at the War Memorial.

Mike Burns is the sports editor at The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurnsTD.

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