Pittsburgh Penguins Host Tampa Bay Lightning in Kraft Hockeyville USA Matchup Tomorrow Night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Game to Be Played at Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pa. – Home Arena Featured in Iconic Hockey Film Slap Shot
Bob Costas Anchors Coverage at Arena Where He Began His Professional Broadcasting Career
Mike “Doc” Emrick, Pierre McGuire and Jeremy Roenick to Call Lightning-Penguins; Bob Costas, Liam McHugh and Mike Milbury Also On-Site
NBCSN to Air Slap Shot Immediately Following Lightning-Penguins
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 28, 2015 – Old-time hockey heads “right back to where it started from” tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Tampa Bay Lightning in the inaugural Kraft Hockeyville USA from the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pa., the home arena featured in the classic hockey film Slap Shot. Pre-game coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET with a special edition of NHL Live.
26-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas, who began his professional broadcasting career at the iconic Johnstown arena, will try to capture the spirit of the thing alongside host Liam McHugh and analyst Mike Milbury.
Three-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick will illustrate the finer points of hockey, alongside Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire and analyst Jeremy Roenick.
NBCSN’s comprehensive Kraft Hockeyville USA coverage will celebrate hockey’s rich history in Johnstown, while weaving in elements of Slap Shot throughout the telecast. Highlights will include:
- The Hanson Brothers, featuring Johnstown’s own Jeff and Steve Carlson, will show us what they’ve got in a live interview with Costas, along with other unscheduled surprises;
- Segments with Roenick featuring memorabilia from Slap Shot and the history of Johnstown hockey, as well as segments from the old organ loft (wear a helmet) and Charlestown Chiefs team manager Joe McGrath’s office;
- Emrick will pay homage to legendary Charlestown Chiefs broadcaster Jim Carr;
- Milbury, a man truly knows what it’s like to feel shame after two minutes in the penalty box, will describe what it was like to play in the era of old-time hockey;
- Viewers will be able to listen to the song, as NBCSN will air the National Anthem in its entirety;
- Current NHL players will discuss their favorite scenes and memories from Slap Shot;
- Following the game, NBCSN will televise Slap Shot, starring Paul Newman, in its entirety (God, save us).
BOB COSTAS ANCHORS KRAFT HOCKEYVILLE USA COVERAGE
Costas will anchor NBCSN’s Kraft Hockeyville USA coverage from the exact site where he began his professional broadcasting career more than 40 years ago. Costas served as the play-by-play voice of the Syracuse Blazers of the North American Hockey League, and his first-ever professional broadcast was a game in 1973 between the Blazers and Johnstown Jets at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.
Costas was still a senior at Syracuse University at the time, missed the team bus ride from Syracuse to Pennsylvania, and ended up spending $150 on a flight for a broadcast that only paid $30. Following are Costas’ memories of his first professional broadcast:
“To prepare, I got the roster of teams and studied them until the players were like members of my own family. Then, just before game time, I noticed that the Johnstown owner had sprung for new uniforms – all of the numbers were different. There was no time to relearn the numbers, so when the first Johnstown player on the ice was a guy wearing No. 2 named Francois Ouimet, I decided that he was about to play the game of his life. No matter what the play, Francois was in on it. He scored all the goals and even assisted on his own. He checked everybody, including himself, into the boards. He was in on every play. He was everywhere.”
Costas will also recount stories from his days broadcasting minor-league hockey, including an altercation on the Syracuse Blazers team bus with Bill Goldthorpe, the inspiration for the infamous Slap Shot character Ogie Ogilthorpe.
KRAFT HOCKEYVILLE USA
Lightning-Penguins marks the culmination of the inaugural season for the Kraft Hockeyville USA campaign, whose mission is to help build better hockey communities across the country. Johnstown won the honor of the first ever Kraft Hockeyville USA, beating out hundreds of communities across the country with more than 20.4 million votes through public voting in the Kraft Hockeyville USA contest.
The Cambria County War Memorial Arena, which opened in 1950 and was forever immortalized in hockey lore when it served as the home arena for the fictional Charlestown Chiefs in Slap Shot, will receive $150,000 in arena upgrades. Kraft Hockeyville launched in Canada in 2006, and has positively impacted 43 communities with more than $1.6 million donated in arena upgrades.
Hockey has been in the fabric of the Johnstown community since 1941, when the Johnstown Bluebirds played one season at the Shaffer Ice Palace. The Johnstown Jets, which served as the inspiration for Slap Shot, debuted at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in 1950, where they played until 1977. Various leagues and teams have called Johnstown home, including the Johnstown Chiefs, an original member of the ECHL, and the Johnstown Tomahawks of the North American Hockey League.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–