The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 28, 2013

MAKING AN IMPACT | Tomahawks’ first season helps business, community

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Tomahawks filled a void for the city’s hockey-starved fans while also pumping a boost into the region’s economy during their inaugural North American Hockey League season.

The Tomahawks are a Tier II Junior A team comprised of up-and-coming amateur players usually ranging from ages 17 to 20.

“They have brought the War Memorial back to the forefront of many hockey enthusiasts’ destinations. They’ve grown the hockey business,” said War Memorial Acting General Manager Tom Grenell. “Their level of professionalism and what they have been doing for the region is second to none.

“This mirrors the AAABA Tournament and the Sunnehanna Amateur in that you are more apt to see a future star. These players are on their way up.”

Johnstown’s newest team played in front of seven sellout crowds at Cambria County War Memorial Arena and had the fifth-best attendance in the 24-team league that stretches from coast to coast with teams in Texas, California and Washington. The Tomahawks played in the North Division, frequently facing teams from Michigan and New York.

“It’s like a pro game on game nights,” Tomahawks President Richard Bouchard said. “The buzz has been great. The restaurants and bars downtown have been doing really well.”

The ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs relocated to Greenville, S.C., after the 2009-10 season after playing 22 seasons in Flood City.

In the Chiefs’ absence, the War Memorial and ECHL got creative, working a two-year deal with the league’s Wheeling Nailers.

Formerly the Chiefs’ biggest rival, the Nailers played 10 of their home games in Johnstown for two seasons.

But it wasn’t quite the same as Johnstown having its own team.

That all changed when Johnstown Sports Partners LLC, a private investment group led by Esmark, Inc. Chairman and CEO James Bouchard, acquired the NAHL’s Alaska Avalanche in early May and relocated the team from Palmer, Alaska, to Johnstown.

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