Tag Archives: news

Spence to coach Tomahawks

Johnstown, Pa. — The Johnstown Tomahawks have chosen Jason Spence to be the team's first head coach, team officials announced May 23.

Since 2010, Spence has served as an assistant head coach with the ECHL's Greenville Road Warriors, who moved from Johnstown following the 2009-10 season.   During that time, the team compiled an 87-47-5-5 record and made appearances in the the Eastern Conference's quarter- and semi-finals playoff rounds.

As a player, Spence enjoyed three separate stints in Johnstown between 1999 and 2009, playiing 262 regular season games over a total of seven seasons with the Chiefs.

Johnstown team reveals name and logo

Johnstown, Pa. — Hockey is back in Johnstown, Pennsylvania! The Johnstown Tomahawks have arrived and are preparing for their first season in the NAHL with a bold new look and a talented group of Junior hockey players.

Building on the rich hockey tradition of the Johnstown Chiefs and the fabled Cambria County War Memorial Arena, the Tomahawks will bring an exciting, fast-paced and intense brand of hockey sure to please our loyal fans and supporters across Western Pennsylvania.

The Tomahawks' classic logo design, All-American color scheme and nickname pay tribute not only to the Johnstown Chiefs, but also to the thousands of American war veterans honored at the Arena for their sacrifices and service to our country. And the Tomahawks’ nickname symbolizes the new team’s fighting spirit, exciting style of play and good sportsmanship the team and its fans expect from our young men.

In the months leading up to our October season opener, you can expect to see exciting new features on our web site including player and coaching staff profiles, news about our upcoming tryouts for aspiring players, ticket pricing and availability, the team’s 2012-2013 playing schedule and much more.

The Tomahawks will also be introducing our community outreach campaign and sponsorship opportunities and packages for local businesses and organizations seeking to partner with the team.

Alaska Avalanche relocates to Johnstown, Pa.

JOHNSTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, May 3, 2011– Johnstown Sports Partners LLC, a private investment group led by Esmark, Inc. Chairman and CEO James P. Bouchard, today announced in conjunction with the North American Hockey League (NAHL) that is has completed the acquisition of the NAHL’s Alaska Avalanche and will relocate the franchise to Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The NAHL has granted a membership to the yet-to-be-named franchise for the 2012-2013 NAHL season.


Terms of the all-cash acquisition and relocation were not disclosed. The NAHL is the oldest and largest junior hockey league in the United States, currently with 27 teams representing 14 states. The new Johnstown franchise will inherit approximately 18 players eligible to play junior hockey from the Avalanche franchise and will play its home games at the historic Cambria County War Memorial Arena, which was featured in the classic hockey movie, “Slap Shot.” The NAHL features players primarily in the 18-to 20-year-old age group, and dozens of league alumni are currently playing in the NHL, including stars such as the Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.


James P. Bouchard, Chairman and majority owner of Johnstown Sports Partners LLC said, “We’re thrilled to have been accepted into the NAHL and excited about bringing a new brand of junior hockey to the region that recognizes the illustrious past of the Johnstown Chiefs and provides a showcase for the young men seeking to further their hockey careers in the NCAA’s college hockey programs. 


“This sale and relocation wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous collaboration and support of the NAHL, Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld, and Mark Lee, former principal owner of the Avalanche and an investor and co-owner of the new team,” added Bouchard. “Along with investor and team co-owner James Vasilko, President of Johnstown Construction Company, we intend to field a highly competitive team that the great hockey fans in the Johnstown community and region will embrace, support and enjoy in a family-friendly atmosphere.”


NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld said the league is delighted to welcome a junior hockey presence to the Johnstown market. “With its historic past and fan base eager for the return of hockey to the War Memorial Arena, we’re very pleased that Jim Bouchard and his management team have committed to building a winning tradition and being an active member of the Johnstown community.”

About Johnstown Sports Partners LLC

The Johnstown Sports Partners LLC group includes Chairman and Majority Owner James P. Bouchard; Mark Lee, former Alaska Avalanche principal owner and investor/co-owner of the new team; and James Vasilko, President of Johnstown Construction Company and an investor/co-owner of the new team. The team will be named and managed under the Johnstown Sports Partners organization.


The team also announced that Richard E. Bouchard will serve as the new President of the franchise. In addition, the team announced that Rick Boyd, a former Johnstown Chief player and longtime junior hockey advocate, will serve as General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations for the franchise, and that former Chiefs player Jean Desrochers will serve as Director of Business Operations.


The team said that it will seek input from the Johnstown community for the new hockey team and is currently conducting a search for the head coaching position. A new team name and logo design will be announced in the coming weeks.


About Esmark, Inc., The Bouchard Group and Esmark Sports & Youth Development


Through Esmark, Inc., The Bouchard Group and the company’s Sports & Youth Development subsidiaries, the company has been an active supporter and benefactor of both professional and youth sports organizations in the Pittsburgh area for many years, including its sponsorship of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team; its financial support for the Quaker Valley (PA) Recreation Association’s sports programs and the Pittsburgh Vipers All-Stars AAA youth hockey team; and the development of the Bouchard Family Park and Esmark Field baseball and sports complex in Bell Acres, PA. The company is also a longtime sponsor of the Quaker Valley High School hockey team program, which won the 2011-2012 PHIL Class A State Hockey Championship. Mr. Bouchard and Esmark also founded and support the FC Pittsburgh Youth Soccer Development program, as well as being a principal sponsor of the Pittsburgh Power Arena Football League franchise.


More information about Esmark, Inc. and its subsidiaries can be found at www.esmark.com.