Johnstown, PA – The Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins) had much to be thankful for this week, as the team won two games on either side of the Thanksgiving holiday. They will look to continue their climb up the North Division standings as two division foes come to the UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink at the Cambria County War Memorial this week.
11/30 vs. Cincinnati: Johnstown’s defense will face a stiff test when the Cincinnati Cyclones visit the War Memorial for the first time this season. The Cyclones average 3.94 goals per game, and their 63 goals are second highest in the ECHL. The two teams last played on April 1, 2007 in Johnstown with the Chiefs winning 2-1 in overtime. The Chiefs lead the all time series 15-13-6.
12/1 vs. Wheeling: The game on Saturday will mark the fifth meeting of the season between the Chiefs and Nailers, with the season series even at 2 wins each. Chiefs’ center Jean Desrochers has frustrated the Nailers this year with eight points in four games (4G, 4A), while Adam Henrich has played well against his former team earning five points (3G, 2A) in three games against Johnstown.
Closing In: Two long-time Chiefs will have opportunities to reach career milestones this week. After a five-point week, Jean Desrochers only needs two more to make it to 150 for his Johnstown career. Desrochers already played in his 200th game in Johnstown back on 10/20. Randy Rowe, meanwhile, needs four points to get to 100 in his Chiefs career, and only one more for 300 for his entire ECHL career. Rowe is also three goals away from 50, and one assist away from 50 as a Chief.
Day by Day: Mon. Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink at the CCWM, 10:00 AM Tues. Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink at the CCWM, 10:00 AM Wed. Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink at the CCWM, 10:00 AM Thurs. Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink at the CCWM, 10:00 AM Fri. Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Cyclones, 7:05 PM Sat. Chiefs vs. Wheeling Nailers, 7:05 PM Sun. Off
Last Week: 11/21 vs. Columbia Inferno: W 4-2 Two shorthanded goals 31 seconds apart keyed Johnstown’s attack in a 4-2 win against the visiting Inferno. Rob Drummond’s sixth goal of the year had Johnstown out to a 1-0 lead through one period, and then Drummond and Ryan Garlock each scored with Jean Desrochers in the box for hooking. Columbia’s Jeff Miles scored once each in the second and third period, but Desrochers would provide Johnstown’s fourth goal, this one on the power play, allowing for a comfortable victory.
11/23 vs. Wheeling Nailers: W 6-1 The Chiefs offense was a little slow to wake up after the Thanksgiving festivities, but it turned into a massive force last Friday once it got started. Wheeling’s David Laliberte gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 2:50 of the first after a Johnstown turnover, but the lead wouldn’t last very long. From 12:51 of the second period on, Johnstown dominated. Jean Desrochers and Alex Imbeault scored an even strength and power play goal each, while Brian Deeth scored his first professional goal and Mike Cohen added the sixth tally. Desrochers picked up an assist on Deeth’s goal, marking the sixth time a Chief has recorded three points in a game this year.
11/24 at Wheeling Nailers: L 4-2 The Chiefs weren’t able to sustain the momentum from the previous night’s big win and Wheeling evened the season series with the victory. Two man-advantage goals by the league’s second best power play unit provided the room to stave off a late Chiefs’ comeback attempt. Wheeling’s David Brown shut Johnstown out until 11:42 of the third when Desrochers broke through for his seventh goal of the year. Imbeault would also score his seventh, but Brown would beat Johnstown by the same score he did for his first pro win in the season opener.
Lending a Helping Hand: Andrew Penner was credited with an assist on Rob Drummond’s shorthanded goal against Columbia on 11/21. It was the fourth helper of his professional career, with the most recent coming last season during Penner’s time with Wheeling. It was the first time in over a year that a Chief netminder recorded an assist, as none of the goalies from the 2006-07 series earned a point.