By Mike Mastovich
For The Tribune-Democrat
“Two kids from Johnstown” sharing in a Stanley Cup win with their hometown team.
It sounds like a script for a movie.
Both men got their professional starts with the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs.
Each was on the ice celebrating with the Penguins after Pittsburgh defeated defending champion Detroit 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Each previously had been part of a Stanley Cup victory, Heinze with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 and Stewart with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.
But this one hits closer to home – literally.
“Two kids from Johnstown are Stanley Cup champions with the Pittsburgh Penguins,” said Heinze. “I can’t believe it.
“When we won, we had our celebration on the bench. Then I found ‘Stew’ and we embraced on the bench. Two kids from Johnstown. We each won a Cup. He won one in Carolina. But now we came to Pittsburgh together and we won a Cup. This is what we wanted. It’s so unique. This is awesome.”
Heinze, Stewart and former Chiefs trainer Scott Adams all are on the Penguins staff. Dave Zeigler also assists Heinze in the locker room during home games. Zeigler is part of the Chiefs’ training staff.
Both Heinze and Stewart brought the Stanley Cup to Johnstown after their teams’ previous wins. Perhaps history will repeat itself.
“The first one is always the most special but there is something that is very special about this one,” Heinze said.
“Growing up in Johnstown and watching the Pens win back to back in 1991 and 1992. … Now to be with the Penguins and have my name on the Stanley Cup with ‘Stew,’ that is special.”