Four years ago today, the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning at the historic Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, PA – home of the Johnstown Tomahawks – as part of the prize for being named the first ever Kraft Hockeyville USA.
The nationally televised exhibition game was the cherry on top of a campaign that put the spotlight on one of America’s greatest hockey communities, and awarded funds to enhance the 65 year old facility and support local youth hockey program.
Johnstown saw an outpouring of support worldwide, from the local community that’s had strong hockey ties for generations, to international fans that knew of Johnstown as being the home of the cult classic film Slap Shot.
The efforts to win the contest were further supported by a slew of NHL talents, including the likes of Johnstown native and 4x Stanley Cup Champion Dana Heinze, head equipment manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins would defeat the Lightning 4-2. Earning the goal in net was a newcomer by the name of Matt Murray, who was about to enter his NHL rookie season. Who knew that we were witnessing a future Stanley Cup winning net minder?
Joining NHL superstars like Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Lightning fan favorite Steven Stamkos were everyone’s favorite hockey siblings – The Hanson Brothers.
We want to know – what’s your favorite 2015 Hockeyville USA memory? Let us know by tweeting @JohnstownHawks. We’ll be retweeting some of your memories throughout the day!