Front Row:(Kneeling)Marty Hornberger,Steve "Chip" Ream,Phil Zangari,Dave Buller,Steve Lesher and Jimmy Zangari
Middle Row:Tom Hoenninger,John "Mick" Walton,Don Todd,Ron Metzger,Joe Onore,Steve Troop,Dean Staherski,Mike Showalter,Tim Bowman,Jack Lewis,Jack Daily and Woody Kleinhaus
Back Row:Dave Ream and Jeff Troop
In late 1970 with the National Hockey League getting some coverage on our local cable station with broadcasts of the Philadelphia Flyers, the sport was intriguing to impressionable want-to-be jocks Dave Loss and myself.
We went out to the Sears store at the Lancaster shopping center and were pleasantly surprised to see a “street hockey puck” for sale. Made out of hard plastic it was supposed to glide along the pavement like a real puck does on ice. It rarely did, usually it came up on its side making it difficult to handle.We also purchased some hockey sticks and for protection, some baseball catcher’s shin guards.
Dave lived on Wise Avenue in Lancaster but there was an alley that ran behind his house. That is where we took a large cardboard box and laid it on its side to simulate a hockey net and practiced shooting the puck into it. Quickly tiring of just the two of us playing we recruited Dave’s brother Mike, Joe Wysock and Sil Simpson to play a half-court two on two contest. Mike was the goalie and the other four I think rotated as team-mates.
This was the first competitive “Street Hockey” match to my knowledge although down the road one of our main rivals, Rodney Park, ala the Russians during the Cold War, claimed to have invented it first.
We soon graduated to the tennis courts at Millersville State College picking up more interested players until we were politely told to leave by security after several weeks. In 1971 the Chestnut Street playground became the home of our street hockey activities with several of the neighboring kids getting involved. We usually played nearly every day with these newcomers forming the nucleus of our future team. Street Hockey equipment soon became available in all the sport stores with the puck being replaced by a red ball. They even came out with a blue ball for cold weather play which did not get as hard as a rock like the red one did.
Playing softball at Buchanan’s park one day we noticed another group of guys playing hockey so we challenged them. This group called themselves The Huckles and when they asked what our team's name was,we simply said, “Chestnut Street”. Soon we discovered teams throughout the area, mostly through casual conversation with other fans at Hershey Bears hockey games.
In August of 1974 the York YMCA announced they were sponsoring a street hockey tournament, we entered as did the Huckles and Rodney Park from Lancaster. We won the championship going undefeated in six games. We continued to practice everyday at the playground and occasionally on weekends playing a game against the Huckles and Rodney or sometimes traveling to Columbia or other towns when we discovered an opponent.
In the spring of 1975 the Lancaster Rec Commision decided to start a street hockey program on the basketball courts of Brandon Park. We won the championship that year, the first of seven consecutive Brandon Cup titles. Also in May of ‘75 we entered the National Championship in Leominster,Mass. After winning our first game 10-0 against a team from Brooklyn we soon learned a little humility as Roslindale, the champs of the previous year, beat us 7-3 outplaying us greatly but it showed us what we needed to do to improve our squad.
Street Hockey seasons usually consisted of two separate segments per year, sometimes three if there was a summer league. In the winter of ’77-’78 we left Lancaster after seven straight championships to compete on a new hockey rink in Sinking Springs known as the Western Berks League. We added six more titles there to give us 13 straight championships.
1977 thru early 1979 were the peak years for Chestnut Street, we won the Pennsylvania State title in ’77 but lost in the finals of the Mid-Atlantic Regionals. The following year we were crowned the Mid-Atlantic champs in a grueling two weekend tourney and captured the Western Berks Invitational.
In 1979 we placed 8th in the nation in Leominster and defended our crown in the Western Berks Invitational. Slowly age took its toll. In the winter of 1979-1980 we left the Western Berks league to come back home where the Lancaster Rec commission had erected a new street hockey rink. Our streak of titles came to an abrupt end. In our seven seasons at the new facility we made it to the finals only once, losing to the Wizards. The summer of ’82 was our last hurrah as we finished 7-3, good for 2nd place in an abbreviated summer league with no playoffs. It was time to pull the plug on the Chestnut Street name.
The team folded although several players latched onto other teams and resumed their hockey careers. The numbers are impressive, a 258-57-17 regular season record for 20 seasons. 56-19 in the playoffs, 13 consecutive league championships and in 31 tournaments a 72-36-1 mark with six titles.
Overall we were 386-112-18, a .775 clip. Most if not all the team members made a 340 or 338 appearance at sometime with several being "bona fide" regulars.
Season by Season
Rec League Scoring
Rec League Goaltending
Western Berks Scoring
Western Berks Goaltending
LRC Rink Scoring
LRC Rink Goaltending
Tournament Scoring Stats