Johnstown, PA – The Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins) remained in first place in the North Division, tied with the Reading Royals at 10 points, after going 2-1-0 this week. The Chiefs only play one game this week with Reading coming to the UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink on Saturday night, which could end up being a battle for sole possession of first place.
11/10 vs. Reading The Royals return to Johnstown after winning a high-scoring affair back on October 20. The Chiefs opened up a 3-0 lead against the Royals, but Reading went on to score 5 unanswered goals en route to a 6-4 victory. Former Chiefs defenseman P.J. Atherton had a strong game for Reading, scoring two goals in the win. This time around the game could get a bit scrappy as Reading is second in the entire ECHL with 251 team penalty minutes while Johnstown’s Kris Kasper is second in the league among players with 51 PIM. The game will also feature Johnstown wearing throwback Bluebirds jerseys, with a live auction of the jerseys to follow the game.
Keeping it Tight: The Chiefs are now 4-0-0 in one goal games this season, and 3-0-0 in overtime contests, including a shootout victory against Elmira. The only non one-goal win for Johnstown was against Trenton on Oct. 21, a 4-2 win with the fourth goal being an empty-net tally by Alex Imbeault.
Mon. 11/5/07 – Off Tues. 11/6/07 – Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink, 12:00 PM Wed. 11/7/07 – Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink, 10:00 AM Thurs. 11/8/07 – Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink, 10:00 AM Fri. 11/9/07 – Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink, 10:00 AM Sat. 11/10/07 – Chiefs vs. Reading Royals, 7:05 PM Sun 11/11/07 – TBD
10/31/07 vs. Trenton: W 3-2 The Chiefs wouldn’t be scared away by these Devils on Halloween as Kris Kasper scored his first of the season for the game winner with 3:10 left in the game. Ryan Garlock gave the Chiefs an early lead with a backhanded shot that trickled through Trenton goalie Jason Smith just a minute and a half into the first period. Trenton would tie the score about three minutes later thanks to Thomas Harrison, and then Jason Paige gave the Devils the lead 51 seconds into the third after a scoreless second. Rob Drummond would wrist a shot past Smith to tie the game at 2, setting the stage for Kasper’s winner. Ryan Nie would make 22 saves along the way for his fourth win of the year.
11/2/07 at Dayton: L 3-5 The Chiefs began their first full weekend away from home with a stop at the E.J. Nutter Center to take on the Dayton Bombers. Dayton came into the game having played only twice so far compared to the Chiefs’ seven games, but Johnstown was the team that looked unprepared to play as Dayton built a 5-0 lead through two periods. Yannick Tifu lead the way with two power play goals in the second period while Brad Bonello, Matt Beaudoin, and Ryan Smyth each picked up two points (1G, 1A each). Johnstown rallied with a three-goal third thanks to the efforts of Kasper, Mike Knight, and Nic Bachand, but Dayton’s lead was just too much. Bachand’s tip-in goal was the first of his pro career.
11/3/07 at Wheeling: W 5-4 OT Johnstown salvaged a split of the weekend road trip with a dramatic overtime win against Wheeling, and was able to get back sole ownership first place thanks to Reading’s loss to Cincinnati that same night. The Chiefs and Nailers traded goals the entire game like heavyweight fighters trading punches, with Michael Cohen and former Chief Adam Henrich pacing their respective teams with two goals each. Jean Desrochers gave the Chiefs a 4-3 lead at 15:17 of the second when he wristed a shot top-shelf over the blocker of Martin Houle on the power play. Jason Tejchma’s first of the year tied it back up for Wheeling with 6:15 left in the game, but the Nailers couldn’t capitalize on penalties to Brian Deeth and Ryan Nie within the last four minutes of regulation. Ryan Garlock would capitalize, though, taking a centering pass at 2:24 of overtime and sliding along the ice past a scrambling Houle for the game winner.
Outstanding Player(s) of the Week: Ryan Nie and Kris Kasper Nie went 2-1-0 after being named the Rbk Hockey Goaltender of the Week on Oct. 30. Kasper scored two goals and an assist after going pointless in his first five games.