JOHNSTOWN – The Johnstown Tomahawks proudly announced Thursday its 2017-18 leadership core, as the team prepares for its home opener on Saturday, Oct. 14 against Philadelphia.
Forward Cade Groton will serve as the team’s captain. Last season for the Tomahawks, Groton earned a mid-season call-up to the team, scoring one goal in 11 games played.
Serving alongside Groton as alternate captains will be defensemen Andrew Quetell and Chris Trouba as well as forward Samuel Solensky.
“We are very proud and excited to announce these four young men as our captains for the 2017-2018 season,” head coach Mike Letizia said. “They have demonstrated quality leadership abilities through their work ethic and commitment to the Tomahawks logo. Above all, we firmly believe in the character of these young men which is of the utmost importance.”
Groton is looking forward to embracing his new role with the team.
“It was an awesome honor and I’m extremely excited,” Groton said. “It’s a privilege to be a captain in Johnstown. The city has plenty of hockey history so it means a lot to me. I’ve been trying to help some of the younger guys on the team because I was in their shoes just a few months ago.”
Groton commented he can learn a lot from the city’s hockey legends.
“They played hard and represented Johnstown in a great way and I think that’s what we have to do,” Groton said.
Letizia sees Groton as ready to lead the team with a “burning desire, work ethic and passion.”
“He has a phenomenal attitude every day and is a person that is a great role model to his peers,” Letizia said. I spoke with last season’s captain Filips Buncis about him prior to finalizing the decision and he confirmed what I already knew about his maturity, dedication, and genuineness as a person. It is an honor to wear the Tomahawks logo on your sweater, and these four players will also carry the prestigious honor of being team captains.”
Quetell, Trouba and Solensky enter their second seasons respectively with the Tomahawks after successful campaigns last season.
Quetell, an Army-commit, is a key anchor on the blueline for Johnstown but is currently on IR.
Trouba calls serving as an alternate captain as “special.”
“It’s pretty big for me,” Trouba said. “Knowing that there is a lot of hockey history here makes it special for me.”
The native of Auburn Hills, Mich., earned two goals and three assists in 34 games in 2016-17.
Solensky added to Trouba’s comments.
“It’s a privilege for me to be an alternate captain; it’s special,” Solensky said. “I know I have to work hard and do my best on the ice and show our team how to play.”
Prior to a mid-season recall to Youngstown of the USHL, the Michalovce, Slovakia native netted eight goals and 15 assists in 31 games played. Solensky currently has one goal and three assists in eight games.
The Tomahawks open the home portion of their schedule this Saturday, Oct. 14 with Hawktoberfest presented by 1ST SUMMIT BANK. Four-time Stanley Cup champion Paul Coffey will drop the ceremonial first puck. Coffey’s appearance is presented in part by 1ST SUMMIT BANK, Laurel Auto Group, Emap, Inco Beverage, Johnstown Construction, Roxbury Tire and Valley Printing. Mr. Coffey will be available to meet fans and sign autographs following the ceremonial puck drop behind section 9.
Fans can purchase individual tickets by visiting the 1ST SUMMT ARENA @ Cambria County War Memorial box office, calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. The arena box office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.