May 7, 2014

Port Huron to Relocate into Tomahawks' Backyard

Distance between Johnsotwn and Connellsville
In the Tomahawks' first two season in the NAHL, their biggest rival has been the Port Huron Fighting Falcons. Now it appears that the rivialry is going to be amped up even more for the 2014-2015 season.

Juniorhockey.com is reporting that the Fighting Falcons are leaving Port Huron and making their new home in Connellsville Pa. Yes, the Connellsville that's only an hour and twenty minutes southwest of Johnstown.

You can see the whole article on Juniorhockey.com here. There hasn't been an official announcement on the move by the NAHL or Port Huron as of yet.

This is good news for the Tomahawks as they once again have a close team they will travel to often. After Jamestown Ironmen folded, which was only about three and a half hours away, Johnstown had to travel at least six hours for the next closest team (Michigan). Now with Port Huron moving into Johnstown's back yard, a more heated rivalry will unfold for years to come.

The team will be named the Keystone Ice Miners (or Keystone Miners) and play at the Ice Mine of Connellsville that holds about 4,000 fans.

Johnstown and Connellsville will now compete for some of the same local players in the area, which means Johnstown has to have a better team in the next few years to attract those area players.

Johnstown and Connellsville should be far enough apart where the two teams should not be competing for fans, but let's not leave that up to chance.

Port Huron had terrible attendance numbers, so what do they do, they move their team as close to Johnstown hoping the same type of numbers will happen to them.

We've seen first hand in Johnstown you need a great front office staff for that to happen. You also have to have players that interact with their community, and have a team that wins games on the ice.

Johnstown has done all three things (we have had two winning seasons), and now must do even better, if nothing more than to have Pa bragging rights during the season.

I'm sure many fans will make several trips to Connellsville throughout the season, and we're glad that there's a team now reasonably close to Johnstown.

This is Tomahawks' country. Time to start marking our territory.

Update: The Junior Hockey News has their own story on Port Huron's relocation and they report that a press conference will take place this Friday announcing the relocation to Connellsville.

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