Tonight is the season opener for a Johnstown team that has had an almost complete identity overhaul in the offseason. Gone are former GM Toby O'Brien as well as many of the familiar ECHL veterans who used to make up the team. In their place the Lightning have set up a new management team and a revamped roster that includes much more youth, skill and speed. Coach Frank Anzalone is the constant, and the veteran coach will go for his 300th ECHL win tonight. Stanislav Lascek and Radek Smolenak should form a potent offensive attack for the Chiefs and they are expected to get strong goaltending from Gerald Coleman and Morgan Cey, but it's the progress of the team's defensemen that may decide how much it can improve over last season's short playoff run.
Congratulations to Coach Anzalone on his 300th ECHL win.
Morgan Cey stopped 31 of 33 for the win. Veteran Jean Desrochers had a first period natural hat trick to set the pace for the Chiefs. Doug Andress had a goal and two assists while Zbynek Hrdel racked up three assists. Doug Adams had two assists and Radek Smolenak added his first professional goal while individual helpers went to PJ Atherton, Stanislav Lascek and Brandon Elliot.
And that's just game one.
Game sheet from ECHL.com.