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Tomahawks Winning On and Off The Ice: Part Three - Junior Hockey News

Published: Sunday, 6 Jan 2013
By: Michael Gosnell

Superstitions and hockey go hand-in-hand.

You are never supposed to utter the word "shutout" if a goalie is closing in on such a feat.

When a team wins its Conference's championship, it is considered taboo to touch or lift the trophy.

Even the greatest hockey player of all-time, Wayne Gretzky, was superstitious. He never cut his hair before a game.

Hockey fans also have their own special rituals and Johnstown hockey fans are no exception.

For years, fans have flocked to local bar, Scott's By Dam, to grab a beer and a taco before the hockey game.

It has been a pregame tradition for hockey fans for many years. The tradition was almost lost when the Johnstown Chiefs left town in 2010, but the Wheeling Nailers filled the void for two more years until they pulled out of playing 10 games a year in Johnstown.

When the Johnstown Tomahawks announced their intentions of relocating to Johnstown, Scott McLachlan, the owner of Scott's By Dam along with his wife, Cindy, open his mind to the junior hockey product.

"I didn't know that much about it," Scott McLachlan said. "But I opened my mind and let the people that were bringing it to us talk to me and tell me about it. I am very surprised with the quality. The quality of hockey is unbelievable."

"New Year's Eve night we came out on the wrong end of it, but that was probably one of the best hockey games I've seen in many, many years at the War Memorial. I think this is a good thing for us."

"I believe this is better hockey than what the Chiefs played in the last four or five years that we had them."

Once the team settled into to town and started playing games, business at Scott's By Dam picked up every game day, and Scott McLachlan summed up in one word how the Tomahawks have been for business.


"They help our business an awful lot," Scott McLachlan said

"We get players and families," Cindy McLachlan said. "It's just a great group of people."

Having witnessed many years of Chiefs hockey and the way the organization presented themselves off the ice, Scott took notice to the Tomahawks approach to marketing and being in the community.

"They have opened the gates to all of the community, not just a certain amount of it," Scott McLachlan said. "They have just been phenomenal. They are open and friendly and they care about what is going on. That is a good thing for the community of Johnstown, without a doubt."

Cindy McLachlan also offered a major difference between the Chiefs and the Tomahawks.

"These tickets are economical for everyone. Everyone can afford to go to these games. It's good hockey and it is affordable."

Besides being sponsors of the team, Scott and Cindy McLachlan also feed the Tomahawks players and front office staff. In addition, they also provide food for the visiting team.

When asked about what else they do to make the Tomahawks feel welcome, Scott McLachlan had this to say.

"We opened up our arms and been ourselves."

The ownership has been maintaining a close relationship with the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins.

Tomahawks owner Jim Bouchard and Penguins owner Mario Lemieux are good friends and the Penguins have made a handful of appearances in Johnstown, including the Charity Classic that is coming up on Wednesday.

"I think what is really going to be awesome for us is the connection with the Penguins," Scott McLachlan said.

Looking towards the future, the Tomahawks are projected to be a tremendous help to the revitalization of downtown Johnstown.

"This is going to help the downtown businesses and the surrounding area businesses," Scott McLachlan said. "If we don't jump on this we are never hockey again. If this team leaves, we are not having any hockey ever again. Build the dam up in Seward and call it Lake Johnstown because it's over at that point."

Scott also commented that the Tomahawks have good group of young men who are striving to make themselves better in the community.

In closing, Scott had a few words for the skeptics that might not be trying junior hockey.

"Get off your butts and come and watch them because it's awesome."

I would like to thank Scott and Cindy McLachlan for taking time out of their busy workday to sit down with me.


posted Jan. 7th, 2013 - 5:03am
Christian Poulsen says:
Michael, another great column.

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* Article disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Michael Gosnell, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.

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