February 11, 2013

The Staff on the Ice- Whitney Pappas

Part 2- Ian O'Brien
Part 3- Mike Letizia

"The Staff on the Ice" will be an eight part series about the people in the Tomahawks front office and the coaches that at one point or another played Pro, College, and/or Junior hockey. Some of the people you'll know all about, like Jason Spence, but there might be one or two that you didn't know played hockey themselves.

Today we look at Whitney Pappas's playing career. Pappas is currently the Tomahawks Game-day Operations and Community Relations Manager. Before joining the Tomahawks organization she attended Robert Morris University were she played four season with the Colonials.

When Pappas joined Robert Morris for their 2007-2008 season she had just come from back to back titles playing for Belle Tire (Michigan State Champions). Even before then when she was playing high school hockey in her home state of Colorado she scored 146 points in 246 varsity games.

Her first season with Robert Morris saw her play in 35 games on the blue line. She registered one goal, six assists, for seven points, while getting four penalty minutes, and leading her team with a +5 rating.

The following year she would improve her numbers while playing in one less game. In the 2008-2009 season, Pappas would score three goals, assist on 10 others, have a total of 13 points, rack up 14 minutes in penalties, and have a +2 rating. She lead all Defensemen on the team in assists and points. During the season she was named CHA Defensive Player of the Week twice, for the weeks of 10/08/2008 and 11/26/2008.

In the 2009-2010 season she would play a career high, 36 games, and lead the Colonials as their Captain, a title she would have for her last two seasons. Pappas scored, her college high, four goals and assisted on eight others to give her a point total of 12 points. She would end the season with a career high 20 penalty minutes and have one game winning goal. That goal would come vs Syracuse (1-0 final) and give Robert Morris their first win of the season. The honor of being team captain wouldn't be the only honor she received during the season, as she was also selected for the All-CHA Second Team.

In her last season with Robert Morris she would play in 34 games scoring one goal, three assists, and end the year with four points.

Just like the rest of the former players that now working for the 'Hawks, she's taken her success on the ice off the ice, making the Tomahawks game day experience one of a kind.

When the Chiefs played in Johnstown the intermissions would be one of the most boring times during the game. Under the direction of Pappas, she's turned it into another entertaining part of your overall experience. Whether it's food racing against each other, somebody shooting a puck into an open dryer, or the Ice Girls throwing shirts into the crowd, there's never a dull moment.

It's not only the intermission though, as soon as you walk through the front gates it feels more professional then when the CCWM hosted an actual professional team. Of course it's not all Pappas' doing. From Desrochers, Director of Business Operations, to Suzanne Grove, Public Relations Manager, and everyone in between has made the Johnstown Tomahawks experiences on and off the ice exciting and memorable. Pappas is just yet another piece of the Tomahawks' puzzle that makes everything fit and work together.

I can guarantee that no other team in the league has this many quality people in their front office doing such great work.  On top of that I know for a fact that no other team has this much former on ice talent than we do. If another team's front office challenge our front office to a game, I'd put my life savings on us winning the game. (That's if I had a life savings.)

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