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EHL: Johnstown Blue Birds

The Johnstown Blue Birds were the first in a long line of historic hockey teams from Johnstown, PA. However, the Blue Birds' had a very short existence. They played at the Shaffer Ice Palace and were sponsored by the Shaffer Ice Company, which provided ice to the city prior to modern refrigeration. With his Baltimore Orioles (EHL) franchise struggling, Bill Hines moved the team to Johnstown for the 1941-42 season to become the Blue Birds. The Blue Birds had almost immediate financial difficulties, however. After only 14 games, Hines couldn't foot the bill for the Blue Birds. A local resident, Harry Crichton, saved the team and kept them a float the rest of the season. They would finish in a three-way tie for first place. As war broke out, the Ice Palace was converted to manufacturing plant and the Blue Birds were no more.