First Annual Johnstown Veterans Day Ice Hockey Tournament Sees Tons of Action
Written by: David Nicoletti
Photographs by: Danielle Walukas
This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we got to see veteran hockey teams coming together at 1ST SUMMIT ARENA November 13th-15th and play in the first-ever Johnstown Veterans Day Ice Hockey Tournament. Teams in this tournament included the Johnstown Generals, Ashburn Veterans, Ultimate Warriors, DC Armed Forces, Patriots Hockey, Pittsburgh Warriors, USMC Hockey NY, and the DC Warriors.
Friday's games would consist of eight games played for seeding.
Saturday's game would consist of another eight games and would start the "playoffs".
Sunday's games consisted of four finals games, two consolation games, and two championship games.
The games featured 17-minute running clock periods with three-minute power plays. If the game was tied after regulation, then we would have a three minute 3-on-3 overtime period. If that's not enough, then we would go to a best of a five-round shootout. So without further adieu, let's get started we the recaps of the weekend-long action during the tournament.
The Johnstown Generals would kick off the tournament on Friday morning playing against Patriots Hockey. Puck drop to get us rolling was at 10:58am. The Generals would get the first shot on net of the game, but the first period would be all Patriots as four goals would be scored within the first 17 minutes of play.
The first goal would be scored at the 5:13 mark of the period by Patriots captain #7 Tim Pearson. The next goal would be three minutes later at the 8:23 mark by Patriots #42 Rick Marquez. Followed up seconds later at the 9:16 mark by Tim Pearson once again. Capping off the period at the 16:11 mark with a Patriots goal by #1 Chad Channing.
Shots on goal after the first period would be 13-4 for the Patriots.
Our first action of the second period would consist of our first ever penalty of the tournament. The Generals would be going on the power play as Patriots #88 Miles Sylvester would be called for hooking at the 4:36 mark of the period. Johnstown would take advantage of the man-advantage as Generals captain #19 Ben Urban would score the power-play goal to cut the Patriots lead 4-1 at the second period's five-minute mark.
This would, however, be followed up by three more Patriots goals.
The first one would come at the 8:11 mark of the second, as captain Tim Pearson would get his third of the game completing the hat trick. Miles Sylvester would get his second of the game two minutes later at the 10:31 mark. Followed up by Chad Channing getting his second of the game at the 13:03 mark of the second.
Before the second period would come to a close, we would see penalties handed out at the 16-minute mark to Generals #2 Kenny Wingard, and Patriots #88 Miles Sylvester for roughing. The second period would come to a close, with the score being 7-1 for the Patriots. Shots on goal after 34 minutes were 23-12 for the Patriots.
In the third, at the 1:15 mark ofthe final period, Chad Channing would get his hat trick and increase the Patriots lead 8-1.
Nothing else would happen in the third, and we would end our opening game with the Patriots defeating the Generals 8-1. Final shots on goal were 30-21 for the Patriots.
Three more games would be played until we would see the Generals next.
Our first game would consist of the Ashburn Veterans taking on the DC Warriors at 12:15pm. The DC Warriors would take home the win with a final score of 3-1.
The next game would feature the DC Armed Forces taking on the Pittsburgh Warriors at 1:29pm. DC would take home the win as the final score for the game was 8-0 for the Warriors.
Finally, the Ultimate Warriors would be taking the ice for the first time playing USMC Hockey NY. The Ultimate Warriors and their awesome WWE Ultimate Warrior inspired jerseys would take home an impressive 15-3 win over USMC.
We were now officially halfway through the tournament (Day 1), and the Johnstown Generals would be taking the ice once again. This time they would be taking on the DC Warriors. It was a pretty awesome sight to see during pregame as both teams sang the national anthem as there were technical difficulties with the PA audio system. This moment reminded me of the Pittsburgh Penguins own Mr. Jeff Jimerson as he would get the whole arena singing the anthem with him. It was just that cool to witness. Puck drop would take place at 4:05pm and we were underway.
The game started with a set of penalties for each team. The first penalty took place at the 6:15 mark of the first, as Kenny Wingard from the Generals was called for hooking. The second penalty would be called minutes later at the 8:55 mark, as Warriors #82 Jason DiPietro would be called for roughing. Both of the penalties by each team would be killed off.
Eventually, after the Warriors penalty, the Johnstown Generals would be on the scoresheet first as #26 Anthony Seybold would score at the 13:13 mark of the firstperiod making it 1-0 for the Generals. Followed up with a goal seconds later by Generals' captain Ben Urban. The first period would come to a close as the score would be 2-0 for the Generals.
Kicking off the second period the Generals would get on the board once again, #48 Brian Reighard would score at the 1:32 mark of the second period putting the Generals up 3-0.
Minutes later, at the 5:06 mark of the second, the Generals would be going on the pentaly kill as #13 Sean Mullen would be given a penalty for tripping. The Generals would stay strong and kill the penalty.
Later towards the end of the period, the Generals would increase their lead to 4-0 as Ben Urban would score his second of the game. .
The third period was upon us and the only action we would see was at the 5:24 mark of the third as the DC Warriors goaltender needed a stoppage of play to fix his goalie pad. No penalties would take place and the score would remain the same after 54 minutes of play as the Generals would take home the win over the DC Warriors 4-0.
Goaltender Kevin Yingling would take home the shutout for the Gens. Both the Johnstown Generals and DC Warriors would end day one of the Tournament with a 1-1 record.
Next, we would have the Ashburn Veterans returning to the ice to take on the Pittsburgh Warriors. Puck drop took place at 5:26pm. During this game, we got to see our first-ever 5-on-3 man advantage of the tournament. Ashburn would be the team on the man up, but after 54 minutes of play passed, the Pittsburgh Warriors would get their first win of the tournament defeating the Veterans 7-5. Asburn would end their day one with an 0-2 record as Pittsburgh would go on to end off their first day with a 1-1 record.
We would have two more tournament games after the Tomahawks Red vs White Scrimmage game.
The first game consisted of the DC Armed Forces taking on USMC Hockey NY. Puck drop for the game would take place at 9:55pm. Just like the Ultimate Warriors did earlier in the day, DC would walk away with an impressive 15-3 victory over USMC. Nine of those DC goals would be scored in the first period alone. Followed up by five goals the next period, and DC giving up its first goal of the whole tournament in the third. DC Warriors would end day one undefeated at 2-0 as USMC would end their day one defeated at 0-2.
Speaking of the Ultimate Warriors, the day's final game would consist of the Ultimate Warriors taking on Patriots Hockey. Puck drop would be at exactly 11:00pm. After 51 minutes had passed with some scrums here and there, the Patriots would defeat the Ultimate Warriors 6-2. Patriots would also end their day one undefeated at a 2-0 record with the Ultimate Warriors ending their day with a 1-1 record.
On day two of the tournament, we kicked things off early. Our first game consisted of the Pittsburgh Warriors taking on the DC Warriors at 9:17 am. Pittsburgh would go on to walk away with a 4-2 win over DC after 51 minutes of play.
Our second game of the tourney would be the Ultimate Warriors taking on the DC Armed Forces at 10:36 am. The game had to be called off with over four minutes left in the third, as a scrum would take place in front of both benches, giving the referee no choice but to call it a game. DC would take the win at a final score of 9-4.
Next up would be the Ashburn Veterans taking on USMC Hockey NY at 11:48 am. Ashburn would take home their first win of the tourney as they would walk away with a 6-2 win over USMC after 51 minutes of play.
Next up would be our very own Johnstown Generals taking the ice for the first time in day two as they faced off against Patriots Hockey in a rematch game. Puck drop would take place at 1:02 pm as we were underway.
The Generals would start their backup goaltender, #34 Stephen Paterson. The General would get the first shot on the game's goal, but the Patriots would be the first one on the scoresheet. Captain Tim Pearson would score the first goal of the game at the 1:35 mark of the first, making it a 1-0 early Patriots lead. It wasn't over yet as the Patriots would score yet another goal at the 5:29 mark of the period. Miles Sylvester would be the one to put it home for the Pats.
We would have two Patriots penalties followed after the 2-0 goal. The first one would come at the 7:22 mark as #18 Brendan Sylvester would be called for tripping. The Pats would go on and kill off the penalty. The second penalty would come at the 15:31 mark of the second. This time Miles Sylvester would be sent to the box for hooking.
The Generals would take advantage as John Kovac would score the power-play goal a minute and five seconds later at the 16:36 mark.
The first period would come to an end, and we would have the Patriots on top 2-1.
The second period would get started the right way for the Generals as Sean Mullen for Johnstown would get the game-tying goal with only a minute and 55 seconds into the second period.
Patriots Miles Sylvester would score a shorthanded goal at the 16:42 mark of the second period to put them back in the lead, 3-2.
The third period was underway and the Patriots would add to their lead. Miles Sylvester would get his second of the game at the 4:46 mark of the third to make it 4-2 for the Patriots.
After a series of penalties, the Patriots had a 5-on-3 power play. The Patriots would take advantage as Miles Sylvester would score the power-play goal at the 11:17 mark of the third. The General would continue to be down a man but stay strong and kill off the penalty 5-on-4.
14:45 in the third period, the Patriots would score another goal. Miles Sylvester would get his fourth goal of the game for the Patriots. The game would come close as the Patriots would take home the 6-2 win over the Generals. We were now officially halfway done with day two of the tournament.
Our next game would be the DC Warriors taking on the Ashburn Veterans at 2:18pm. DC would take home the 3-0 win and end off day two with a 2-2 record overall and 1-1 on the day. The Ashburn Veterans would walk out of day two with a 1-3 record and 1-1 on the day. Asburn would be advancing to the championship game as the DC Warriors would be going to the third-place consolation game
Next up was the Johnstown Generals returned to the ice for game two taking on the DC Armed Forces. Puck drop was at 3:32pm and Kevin Yingling would get the start in goal this time around for the Gens.
DC would get on the scoresheet first as #21 Kris Ptak would get the goal at 5:37.
The Generals would make some action happen in the second period as Kenny Wingard would tie the game up at 1-1 for the Generals.
The third period was upon us and only 40 seconds in, John Kovac from the Generals would be called for a delay of game penalty, putting DC on the power play. But Johnstown remained strong and killed off the penalty. Then at the 8:40 mark of the third period, a scrum would happen, and penalties would be called; DC #18 Ryan McNally was called for cross-checking, while DC #8 Greg Mullen and Generals Ben Urban were both called for roughing.
Nothing else would happen as we would be tied 1-1 after 51 minutes of play. We would be headed into our first three minute 3-on-3 overtime period of the tournament.
13 seconds into OT, DC #20 was called for tripping.
Kevin Yingling would almost give up a shorthanded goal but would make an amazing save with the help of John Kovac to keep the OT period going.
The game would remain tied 1-1 after the 3-on-3 OT and we would be going into a best of five round shootout. Kenny Wingard would get a goal for Johnstown after round one, DC would tie it in the fifth but John Kovac would go bar down on the goalie and get the game-winning goal for the Johnstown Generals in round five, clinching them a spot in the championship game.
Next, up at 5:04 pm was the Pittsburgh Warriors taking on USMC Hockey NY. Pittsburgh would walk away with a 9-1 win over USMC, improving their overall record to 3-1 and 2-0 on the day. Shots on goal during the game were 22-20 for Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Warriors would also clinch a spot in the championship game the next day. USMC Hockey NY would go to an 0-4 record, 0-2 on the day, and a spot in the third-place consolation game.
The final game of day two would consist of the Ultimate Warriors taking on Patriots Hockey in a final game rematch at 6:19 pm. The Patriots would walk out with an 8-2 win over the Ultimate Warriors, clinching a spot in the championship and improving their record to 4-0, 2-0 on the day. The Ultimate Warriors would be going to the third place consolation game with an overall record of 1-3, 0-2 on the day. Shots on goal during the game were 25-17 for the Patriots, ending day two of the veterans day tournament.
Day three and the final day of the tourney was upon us. We would get things started at 9:15am as the DC Warriors and USMC Hockey NY would be playing for third place. After 51 minutes of play, DC would walk away with a 7-4 win over USMC after trailing for most of the game. DC Warriors end the tourney third place in the red bracket and a 3-2 overall record. For USMC Hockey NY, they walked out of 1ST SUMMIT ARENA fourth place in the red bracket and an overall 0-5 record.
In our next game, we would be switching over to the blue side as DC Armed Forces would be taking on the Ultimate Warriors for third place in the blue bracket. Puck drop was at 10:35 am, and game two was underway. It would initially be a close game, but the Ultimate Warriors would walk away with the third-place medal with a 9-4 win over the DC Warriors. The Ultimate Warriors walk away third place in the blue bracket and an overall record of 2-3. For the DC Warriors, they end up fourth place in the blue bracket and end their tourney with an overall record of 3-2.
Now onto the championship game! Our first game would be the Pittsburgh Warriors taking on the Ashburn Veterans for the Red Bracket Championship. I was able to talk to the Pittsburgh Warriors head coach before the game, his comment, "Just play, 51 minutes, just play."
Puck drop for game three took place at 11:54 am as we were underway. The game was very close till the final seconds, but Pittsburgh would walk away on top over the Ashburn Veterans 4-2. Pittsburgh walks away as red bracket champions and an overall record of 4-1. The Ashburn Veterans walk away second place with an overall record of 1-4.
Our fourth and final game consisted of the Johnstown Generals taking on Patriots hockey for the third time in this tournament. I spoke to John Kovac before the game, his comment:
"Just take it one shift at a time; that's how teams win games."
Kevin Yingling would get the start in net for the Generals, as puck drop would take place at 1:20 pm.
Both teams would start off playing aggressive hockey initially, but the Patriots would be the first ones on the scoresheet. Mark Hansen would score for the Patriots at the 13:35 mark, while Chad Channing would add another goal for the Pats at the 15:13 mark of the first period. Just like that, it was 2-0 for the Patriots after 17 minutes of play.
The Patriots would start the second period off to a great start as captain Tim Pearson would score to make it 3-0 thirty-two seconds into the second.
A penalty would be given to the Patriots 2:25 into the second, as #49 Zack Meszaros was called for holding. The Generals would take advantage of the man up as captain Ben Urban would score the power-play goal at the 4:23 mark of the second period, cutting the lead 3-1.
Roughing penalties were to come at the 10:17 mark of the second, as Generals Kenny Wingard and Patriots Scotty Bohem would be sent to the sin bin. The Patriots would then go on to score two more goals after the penalties were assessed—the first goal at 12:13 by Miles Sylvester, with the second coming at 16:36 by Scotty Bohem.
The second period would come to a close as the Patriots would be up on the General 5-1 after 34 minutes of play.
The third and final period of the tourney was upon us and we would start off with some more penalties. Eight seconds into the third period, Patriots Chad Channing would be called for high-sticking. Eleven seconds later, Patriots #33 Zack Daniel would be called for roughing. Then around the two-minute mark, we would have an offsetting penalty from both teams for roughing.
Later on, at the 6:30 mark of the third, Zack Meszaros would score for the Patriots, putting them up 6-1. A minute and ten seconds later at 7:40, Chris Markowski would score, ending the game with the Patriots defeating the Generals 7-1.
Patriots Hockey ends the tourney as red bracket champions and walks out of Johnstown with an undefeated 5-0 record. The Johnstown Generals ended the tourney second place and an overall record of 2-3.
Ladies and gentlemen, our Inaugural Johnstown Veterans Day Ice Hockey Tournament is complete. Thank you so much to everybody who was involved in making the Inaugural Johnstown Veterans Day Ice Hockey Tournament possible. These past three days we're definitely some of the best times I've ever had at the War Memorial. It was especially an awesome event to cover for the Generals and Hawks Daily. I appreciate all the nice people I met from each of the teams who participated; hopefully, this happens again next year, and I'll see y'all again soon.
Congratulations to the Patriots Hockey team and the Pittsburgh Warriors for taking home the championships in their respective brackets. Also, congratulations to the Generals for taking home second place in their bracket. Once again, I had a lot of fun, and I hope that this happens again next year.
The next tournament scheduled for the Johnstown Generals will be the 3rd Annual Troopers Helping Troopers Tournament, which will take place in Hershey, PA on Saturday, January 16th to Sunday, January 17th. For more information on the tournament, visit https://johnstowngenerals.com/ and https://travelchamps.com/events/2021-3rd-annual-troopers-helping-troopers/