It all started innocently
enough with an article by Tim McManus of the Post-Star;
Phantoms tryout player Pat Johnson was interested
in visiting Lake Placid during his stay in the area.
Having never been to the historic location where
his dad, Mark Johnson, was a top scorer on the 1980
Miracle on Ice team, he figured this stretch with
the Adirondack Phantoms would be the perfect time.
That article was quickly noticed by State Senator
Betty Little, who called the Phantoms office and
suggested to Phantoms Executive Vice President Chris
Porreca that she would happy to arrange a more personalized
tour. Johnson quickly accepted the offer and away
he went with one of Senator Little’s assistants
for his first-ever trip to Herb Brooks Arena.
He will play for the Wheeling (W.V.) Nailers of
the ECHL this year but got the opportunity during
training camp to try to impress Coach Paterson with
his hustle on the ice for a potential call-up later
in the season if the Phantoms have a need.
Pat’s father is now the Head Coach of the
University of Wisconsin Women’s team and also
was Head Coach of the USA Olympic Women’s
Team that won the silver medal at the 2010 games
in Vancouver. But it was his legacy with the 1980
USA team for which he remains most famous. Wearing
number 10 (which is the jersey number they gave
Pat for his tour of Lake Placid) he scored the game-tying
goal in the third period of the team's upset comeback
against the Soviet Union.
His grandfather is Hockey Hall of Famer “Badger
Bob” Johnson who led Wisconsin to three national
titles and also guided Pittsburgh to the Stanley
Cup in 1991, before passing away to brain cancer
mere months later.
Johnson has learned to embrace his family’s
history and shake off the pressure of being part
of such a tradition.
“I used to feel a lot of pressure just because
of the numbers he (Mark) put up, the 1980 Gold Medal
game. Everybody’s talking about it. Used to
bother me a lot because a lot of guys would get
on me about it. He told me ‘You’re not
going to be the same player as me’ and it’s
true. You’re not going to win the Gold Medal
or anything like that so the pressure ended about
after high school.”
It was a great opportunity for Pat to get his
first taste of pro hockey in the Phantoms preseason
Training Camp and get to experience the aura of
Lake Placid all in his same trip.
Check out the pictures on the team’s facebook
page! Good luck to Pat on his first pro season.
Mark your calendars! Adirondack Phantoms Opening
Night is Saturday, October 8. The Phantoms take
on the Connecticut Whale to begin the third season
of exciting Phantoms hockey in Glens Falls. Get
great savings and have fun with your friends, family
or co-workers by bringing your group of 15 or more
fans to enjoy fast-paced, hard-hitting Phantoms
hockey. Call the Phantoms to find out more at 518-480-3355
and check the team's website at phantomshockey.com.
Catch all the action of Phantoms hockey all season
long on the team's flagship station, Classic Hits
Q101.7 and on phantomshockey.com. Bob Rotruck, the
"Voice of the Phantoms", has the broadcast
coverage 30 minutes prior to game-time with Countdown
The Adirondack Phantoms are now over 10,000 members
strong on their social media networks. Be sure to
follow us on twitter @phantomshockey and on facebook.com/adkhockey