The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 13, 2013

Schafer relishes role on hometown team

JOHNSTOWN — Corey Schafer grew up in Westmont and regularly attended Johnstown Chiefs games.

One of the players Schafer wanted to pattern his own game after is Jason Spence, who gained a loyal following of local fans for his tough-as-nails playing style as a member of the former ECHL franchise.

There’s no doubt that the former Chiefs player and current coach of the Johnstown Tomahawks came away impressed with Schafer after the former three-time MVP of the Hilltoppers’ varsity hockey team played his first two games with the NAHL franchise.

Schafer was acquired Thursday in a trade that sent defenseman Kristaps Bazevics to the Wichita Falls Wildcats.

Schafer started Saturday in a 4-2 loss to Port Huron and played a key role in Sunday’s 6-2 victory over Soo at Cambria County War Memorial Arena. Schafer picked up his first point on an assist of a Brandon Reinholz goal in the second period. He even came close to dropping the gloves a few seconds later before a linesman intervened.

“I didn’t really know Coach Spence before I got here except for watching him at the Chiefs games. I pretty much went to all the Chiefs games,” Schafer said. “I try to play like him, but I can’t fight like him.”

Schafer, however, can help the Tomahawks, which is why General Manager Rick Boyd targeted him as a trade prospect. Boyd previously worked with Schafer in the Amateur Penguins organization and continued to follow him as he scored 67 points in only 19 PIHL games in his final season at Westmont Hilltop.

He’s already impressing the Tomahawks.

“He started (Saturday) night and he deserved it,” Spence said. “When you come here and play in front of friends and family, there’s a lot of expectations, but he’s giving it his best effort. He played a great game (against Port Huron).”

Schafer tallied three assists in 19 games with Wichita Falls. Throughout his time with the Wildcats, he kept an eye on the hometown team.  

“Being here is awesome. Getting to play junior hockey in my hometown is a dream come true,” said Schafer. “That first game back was really nerve wracking, but once it started, it became another hockey game.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • ‘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

  • Tomahawks drop Game 1 on road

    The Johnstown Tomahawks came back from an early two-goal deficit, but Jon Hall scored a third period goal to give the Port Huron Fighting Falcons the 3-2 win in Game 1 of the best-of-5 North Division semi-finals on Thursday night at McMorran Arena.
    The Fighting Falcons struck first, as Bryce VanHorn scored 1:39 into the first period. Logan Lambdin earned an assist on the goal.

    April 4, 2014

  • tomahawks okicki Tomahawks set to open postseason on road

    The Johnstown Tomahawks open the Robertson Cup playoffs tonight at Port Huron hoping to reclaim the form that enabled the second-year team to move near the top of the NAHL North Division a mere six weeks ago.
    Standing in the way of fourth-seeded Johnstown is No. 1 Port Huron, a team that planted itself firmly atop the division and never relented.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Hawks drop season finale at Janesville

    The Johnstown Tomahawks closed the NAHL regular season with a 4-1 loss to the Janesville Jets in front of 650 fans at Janesville Ice Arena on Saturday night.
    The Tomahawks had secured the North Division’s fourth and final playoff spot when Springfield lost at Soo on Friday night, so the game had no bearing on the playoff race.

    March 30, 2014

  • Tomahawks clinch berth in playoffs

    The Johnstown Tomahawks lost a 5-3 decision at Janesville on Friday, but clinched a NAHL playoff berth nonetheless because Soo defeated Springfield 2-1 earlier in the day.
    The Tomahawks began the weekend in fourth place, three points behind Janesville and three points ahead of fifth-place Springfield.

    March 29, 2014

  • Tomahawks’ playoff hopes hinge on next two games

    March 27, 2014

  • Eagles avoid sweep, nip Tomahawks

    The Johnstown Tomahawks battled back from a three-goal deficit in Sunday afternoon’s final regular-season home game against Soo, but a late third-period score by the Eagles sent the Tomahawks to a disappointing 4-3 loss.
    Soo (24-27-7) erupted for three unanswered goals in a six-minute span to open the second period before the Tomahawks (28-25-5) pulled within one heading into the third and subsequently tied it at 5:53 of the final period on a blast from inside the right circle by Matt Meier.

    March 23, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads