Johnston secures future with River Hawks

Logan Johnston is excited and relieved after accepting a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell River Kings.

  • Nov. 1, 2011 1:00 p.m.
Kyle Beaulieu (left) lets Merritt Centennial forward Brent Fletcher (not pictured) know that he won’t tolerate being sucker punched. The two exchanged words before Fletcher threw a punch during a skirmish in Saturday’s game

Kyle Beaulieu (left) lets Merritt Centennial forward Brent Fletcher (not pictured) know that he won’t tolerate being sucker punched. The two exchanged words before Fletcher threw a punch during a skirmish in Saturday’s game



Excitement, relief and gratification are the emotions Logan Johnston feels after accepting a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell River Kings.

The Penticton minor hockey product secured his hockey future while watching his team, now ranked No. 3 in the Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings, enjoy success from the stands.

The agreement between the grinning Vees captain and the River Hawks was completed Friday morning. Johnston recently visted a school, but UMass-Lowell wasn’t one of them.

“Ultimately, I went with my gut on it,” said Johnston.

In the River Kings’ 30-year history they have made eight appearances in the National Collegiate Athletic Association playoffs. The first NHL player they produced was Craig MacTavish, who won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers. In total, the River Hawks graduated 14 players who have played in the NHL.

When news broke about Johnston, former teammates Joey Holka and Garrett Milan expressed their congratulations on Twitter. Current teammates praised their captain.

“He’s been working for five years hard,” said Curtis Loik, who recently secured a scholarship with the Penn State Nittany Lions. “That was his goal to be a student athlete. It’s good for him to commit to a very good hockey program. A very good academic school.”

Loik described Johnston as the kind of teammate who does everything on the ice, including scoring goals, playing in the dirty areas, blocking shots and contributing on special teams.

“He loves just being out there,” said Loik. “Banging bodies, fights.”

In the time Loik has been with the Vees, he has spent time with Johnston away from the rink, but remembers what he first thought upon meeting Johnston.

“He’s pretty rough, you don’t really know if he’s mean, if he’s happy,” said Loik. “He’s always happy, he’s always positive. Great attitude. It’s good to be around him. Guys are happy for him.”

Vees defenceman Chad Bannor said Johnston works hard every day and comes to the rink prepared and focused. “He’s been a great leader and it’s too bad about his suspension, but he’s been taking it well and working hard. It’s (scholarship) a compliment to him. He’s a great person and a good hockey player.”

Johnston, 20, is in his fourth season with the Vees and has played in 173 career regular season games registering 27 goals and 69 points. In 2010-2011, the Penticton native recorded 11 goals and 32 points in 56 games. The power-forward is coming off an impressive playoff performance last spring, scoring six goals and nine points in as many games earning him Co-Playoff MVP honours.

“I am very proud of what Logan has accomplished in his time as a Penticton Vee,” said Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson. “He has shown dedication and perseverance developing over the last four and a half years; first as an AP in 07-08 and to the present as our current captain and leader.”

Johnston is currently serving a 25-game suspension and is eligible to return on Nov. 26 versus the Chilliwack Chiefs.

“It’s a relief for him,” said Loik of Johnston earning the scholarship despite not having played any games this season. “That suspension really put him back and I think if the league let up he could have really helped us a lot more. We’re doing pretty well but when he gets back in the lineup we’ll be a powerhouse for sure.”

The Vees, who are coming off a 5-4 overtime win against the Merritt Centennials, travel to Vernon on Wednesday to face the Vipers for their third meeting of the season. The Vees have won teh last two games by identical scores of 6-2.

“We got behind the eight ball and just ended up chasing the last couple games,” said Vipers coach Jason Williamson, of their previous meetings. “We want to start playing with that edge early. Play with that chip on their shoulder from the drop of the puck and we’ll be fine.”

Defencemen Luke Juha and Brett Corkey and forward Aaron Hadley are trying out for Team Canada West.

Check www.pentictonwesternnews.com to see a video interview of Johnston talking about the River Hawks.

 

Steve Kidd/Western News

 

Kyle Beaulieu (left) lets Merritt Centennial forward Brent Fletcher (not pictured) know that he won’t tolerate being sucker punched. The two exchanged words before Fletcher threw a punch during a skirmish in Saturday’s game, which the Vees won 5-4 in overtime at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

 


Just Posted

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Most Read