The War Memorial Arena was a busy place on Thursday night as the Johnstown Tomahawks held their first annual Select-a-Seat and Open House. From 4-8 p.m., over 300 fans had plenty of opportunities to interact with members of the organization and to learn more about the team.
Those attending the event were also excited to meet special guest Phil Bourque, two-time Stanley Cup Champion and current Pens Radio Net broadcaster. Bourque greeted fans, signed autographs, and allowed people to try on and take photos with his Stanley Cup rings, including the one he received in 2009 as the Penguins’ radio color commentator. Later, he answered questions from the audience, but not before talking at length about the special place Johnstown holds in his heart and his experiences in the War Memorial, where he participated in his first NHL training camp with the Penguins and signed his first professional contract.
The evening commenced with the introduction of the team’s newest member: Chopper. A large red hawk, Chopper will be on the ice and in the stands this season as the mascot. President Rick Bouchard and Name the Mascot Contest winner Jonathan Kane revealed Chopper together to a crowd of eagerly awaiting fans.
Head Coach Jason Spence and Assistant Coach Mike Letizia were also on-hand to sign autographs and talk about their goals for the upcoming season with fans. Tomahawks merchandise went on sale for the first time, and people were able to select their seats for season tickets. Meanwhile, fans were given the opportunity to take shots on net and treated to beverages and pizza by Domino’s, who sponsored the event.
Director of Ticket Operations Chris Anderson was thrilled with the opportunity to meet past and present fans, adding that this counts as just one of many more events the team has planned.
“This was an amazing event,” he said. “We enjoyed having the chance to talk to all of the fans, both new and from years past. Everyone is very excited about the team, and the support from the local community was superb.”
The entire Tomahawks organizations looks forward to meeting more fans and helping the community learn more about the team as the start of hockey season draws near.