Former Spartan meets Mario LemieuxLemieux helped introduce a new era of hockey in Johnstown, which hadn’t had its own team since the Chiefs moved to Greenville, S.C., after 22 ECHL seasons in April 2010.
JOHNSTOWN, Penn. — The Johnstown Tomahawks had a hockey hall of famer in uniform Saturday night at Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux dropped the ceremonial first puck in front of an enthusiastic and extremely loud sellout crowd of 3,721 at the Johnstown Tomahawks’ home opener.
Lemieux wore a white Tomahawks jersey as he walked to center ice to drop the puck. The two-time Stanley Cup-winning center and member of the current Penguins ownership group then shook hands with Tomahawks captain, and former Superior Spartan, Mitch Kontny and Michigan Warriors captain Martin Gruse.
“He came through and shook everybody’s hand,” Tomahawks coach Jason Spence said of Lemieux’s pregame visit to the home locker room. “He thanked everybody for having him there. There were a lot of starry eyes in there, including myself.”
Lemieux helped introduce a new era of hockey in Johnstown, which hadn’t had its own team since the Chiefs moved to Greenville, S.C., after 22 ECHL seasons in April 2010.
Kontny, a 2010 graduate of SHS, has one goal and one assist in eight games this season for Johnstown.
The Tomahawks host the Janesville Jets this weekend in a NAHL series. Playing for the Jets are former Spartans' Brett Bukowski and Daniel Litchke and Lake Nebagaon's Ryan Gotelaere, who played at Duluth Marshall High School.