Johnstown, PA. Kraft Hockeyville. Steel Mills. Pure Unadulterated GRIT.
Johnstown is 100% a Hockey town, even after they lost the Chiefs in 2010 as the ECHL relocated the team to Greenville, SC. I used to go to Chiefs games when I was young, and my dad even worked selling concessions at Johnstown Jets games in the 70’s, when Slapshot was being filmed there, based loosely on the team. I grew up on Slapshot, watching the Hanson Brothers puttin on the foil, and the Chiefs get in fight after fight after fight when we went to Johnstown to visit for the Holidays. Though the wooden chairs at the War memorial are gone due to upgrades from Kraft Hockeyville, the nostalgia of the barn is still there, and it gets me FUCKING AMPED.
So when I saw a Penguins/Chiefs Alumni game on the schedule, with the old guys playing against the NAHL’s Johnstown Tomahawks, I knew I had to be there. So now, I will be leaving to head up to Johnstaaaaaan, to spend easter weekend watching Old NHLers beat up on some Junior kids. On the Penguins/Chiefs combined team, this is the roster
Bryan Trottier (6- time Stanley cup champion), Phil Bourque (2-time Stanley cup champion), Jay Caufield (2-time Stanley cup champion), Troy Loney (2-time Stanley cup champion), Tyler Kennedy (1 time Stanley cup champion), Colby Armstrong (Pens 05’-08’), Francois Leroux (Pens 94’-97’), JS Aubin (Pens 98’-04’), Mitch Lamoureux (Pens 83’-85’), and Christian Hanson (son of Dave Hanson – Maple Leafs 08’-11’).
And of ECHL guys we’ve got Randy Rowe (Chiefs 05’-09’), Joe Tallari (Chiefs 04’-06’), Jason Spence (Chiefs 99’-09’), Jean Desrochers (Chiefs 04’-08’), Sean Berkstresser (Chiefs 08’-10’), Josh Piro (Chiefs 02’-04’), Dmitri Tarabrin (Chiefs 98’-08’), Coach John Bradley (Chiefs 92’-96’), Coach Reg Kent (Jets 65’-74’), and Equipment Manager – Mic Midderhoff (Chiefs).
So follow along on Instagram @Morning_Skate, where I will be documenting the game and experience as I go on this pilgrimage to holy ground.