Johnstown hockey icon and movie Hanson Brother Steve Carlson returned to his Johnstown home after a brief hospital stay, his wife, Vicki Carlson, said on Friday.

As word of Steve's hospital stay spread on social media, the Carlsons decided to address the matter and thank those who treated Steve or offered support.

"Steve is home from a two-day hospital stay. He is continuing to gain strength and is in good spirits," Vicki Carlson said in a statement released on Friday afternoon. "Prognosis looks good with further cardiologist consulting and more testing needed. He is COVID-19 negative.

"A special thank you to the doctors, EMT, emergency room, seventh floor nurses, technicians and security guards at Conemaugh (Memorial Medical Center)."

Steve Carlson is a hockey household name in Johnstown, where he and his brothers Jeff and Jack were part of successful Johnstown Jets teams, including the 1974-75 squad that won the North American Hockey League playoff championship and inspired the motion picture "Slap Shot."

Steve eventually played in the NHL and had a successful minor-league coaching career, but he's known these days as a Hanson Brother.

"I am grateful and humbled for the outpouring of prayers, concern and well wishes," Steve Carlson said in a statement. "To have friends, fans and the hockey family put on the foil during this time, gives me strength. I and my family are looking forward to a full recovery."

Carlson coached the Johnstown Chiefs in the East Coast Hockey League from 1988-89 through the 1991-92 season. He was briefly was part of the coaching staff of the Bishop McCort High School state championship hockey team. His son Kris Carlson played on four Pennsylvania Cup-winning teams with the Crimson Crushers.

Since 1993, the Hanson Brothers have reprised their movie roles while touring arenas throughout the world, including 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial.

The Hansons have appeared in Bud Ice commercials; starred in two "Slap Shot" sequels; graced the cover of Sports Illustrated; helped raise money for charity; and have made their brand among the most recognizable in sports.

When the Paul Newman movie was filmed in Johnstown in 1976, Steve and Jeff joined teammate Dave Hanson to play the roles of the bespectacled Hanson Brothers in "Slap Shot." Jack Carlson was playing in the World Hockey Association, one step below the NHL, when the movie was being made, so Dave Hanson took his spot on the all-brothers line.

Movie history was made as the Hanson Brothers stole scenes and befriended Newman during filming of the movie that was released in 1977.

The Hansons and the "Slap Shot" legacy played a huge role in Johnstown's successful effort to win the Kraft Hockeyville USA title in 2015.

Steve and Vicki spearheaded a "Slap Shot" 40th anniversary celebration in Johnstown in 2017. They relocated from their California home to Johnstown in 2018 to be near their grandchildren.

Mike Mastovich is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.

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