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2012 Three Rivers Classic Central

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

The inaugural “Three Rivers Classic” will be held Friday and Saturday night at CONSOL Energy Center. The tournament will feature top college hockey programs Ohio State, Miami (Ohio), Robert Morris and Penn State battling for the Three Rivers Classic Trophy.

On Friday, Robert Morris will take on Penn State at 4:30 p.m. and Miami takes on Ohio State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday will feature a consolation game between the two losing teams at 4:30 p.m. with the championship game dropping the puck at 7:30 p.m.

For a full preview of the tournament and a quick look at the four teams click here. For ticket information click here.

Stay tuned here to the Three Rivers Classic Central for updates, pics and more from the tournament.

7:30 PM:
One down, one to go. Ohio State and Miami are set to get underway in the second matchup of the evening here at CONSOL Energy Center. These two are familar with one another, as the Buckeyes hosted the Redhawks two weeks ago in a two-game series. Game 1 ended in a 1-1 tie, and Miami landed in the win column one night later, 3-1.

Neither team allows many pucks to find the back of their net, especially Ohio State netminder Brady Hjelle, whose save percentage (.951) and goals-against average (1.46) rank near the top in the nation. Miami will have to find a way to produce offense without leading scorer Riley Barber, who is currently competing for the U.S. National Junior Team in Ufa, Russia. Stay tuned for updates throughout the contest...

First Period
Both clubs have lived up to their reputation of shutting down the opposition's offense and we are scoreless after the opening stanza. Ohio State's Brady Hjelle has stopped seven RedHawk shots through the first, including a quick reaction stop on a tip in front. Not to be outdone was Miami's Jay Williams, turning aside all 10 Buckeye shots he faced. The freshman netminder has been sharp, including a magnificent sequence of not one but two stops in tight with the right leg midway through the period.

Ohio State thought they had scored early in the frame, but the goal was quickly waved off after the whistle had blown. There is no love lost between these interstate rivals as both clubs have been throwing their weight around early and often. The official attendence has also been anounced for the event today, with 11,663 coming out to catch some NCAA puck.

Second Period
Jay Williams and Brady Hjelle have been perfect thus far between the pipes, and we are still scoreless after two. Williams has been the busier netminder, stopping 13 Buckeye shots in the second frame, including a save on a breakaway from the stick of OSU's Ryan Dzingel.

The Buckeyes have a healthy 23-12 lead in the shot department through 40 minutes and have been successful in stymying No. 5 Miami's attack. The physicality dimished just a bit in the second, but both clubs are still using their size whenever possible.

Third Period
It took the RedHawks just 14 seconds into the third period to record the game's first tally. Jimmy Mullin's wraparound attempt wouldn't go, but Curtis McKenzie was on the doorstep to bang the loose puck past OSU's Brady Hjelle. At the other end of the ice, Miami's Jay Williams put forth a solid effort between the pipes, recording the win and shutout, making some gorgeous stops along the way.

--Brooks Bratten

4:15 PM:

Robert Morris faces Penn State this afternoon in the first game of the weekend. These two met back on Dec. 15 in State College, with RMU prevailing by a 3-2 final. The first ever meeting between the two programs was physical from the start, and both teams combined for 32 penalty minutes on the evening. Penn State freshman David Glen leads the team in virtually every offensive category, while RMU forwards and top scorers Zach Hervato and Adam Brace lead the charge for the Colonials. We'll have updates throughout the game, so check back often...

First Period
If there was any rust leftover from the holiday break, Robert Morris isn't showing it. The Colonials have jumped out to an early 4-0 lead over Penn State at the end of the first period. Both goaltenders saw plenty of rubber, with RMU leading in the shot tally by a count of 21-18.

It didn't take long for Pittsburgh to represented on the scoreboard as Upper St. Clair's Andrew Blazek beat P.J. Muscio less than two minutes in. RMU would add three more goals before the period was out, all coming in the final four minutes. Adam Brace potted the second, and Cody Wydo added two markers within 30 seconds of one another. Brace added an assist on each Wydo goal.

RMU netminder Eric Levine was perfect through the first 20, stopping all 18 shots thrown his way, including a breakaway try from PSU leading scorer, David Glen. Both teams are 0-for-1 with the man-advantage, and PSU leads in the faceoff department, 14-9.

Second Period
Robert Morris continues to hold a 4-0 lead after 40, but the physical play has begun to pick up. Late in the period, David Glen was given a five minue major for contact to the head and a game misconduct. Penn State will begin period No. 3 with 4:25 remaining on Glen's penalty. There have also been multiple scrums after the whistle, with neither team taking a liking to traffic in front of their respective netminders.

PSU now leads the shot tally with a 32-25 advantage. RMU only managed four shots in the second on Penn State goaltender and McKees Rocks native, Matthew Skoff. Skoff replaced P.J. Muscio at the beginning of the second frame. Eric Levine continues to stand tall in the Colonials crease, including a number of stops in tight on the Nittany Lions.

Third Period
The Nittany Lions were able to slow down Robert Morris' offense through the final 40 minutes, but they couldn't solve the Colonial defense. PSU threw over 40 pucks on net, and RMU netminder Eric Levine was equal to the task. Levine posted his seventh win on the season, making 48 saves for the shutout.

Penn State was able to kill off all but four seconds of David Glen's major penalty, and RMU's Matt Cope recorded his first NCAA tally by slamming home a rebound on the doorstep. Defenseman Tyler Hinds put RMU up by six with a shot from the point that eluded everyone on its way to the back of the net.

--Brooks Bratten

12:20 PM:
And here are some pics of Miami, who just wrapped up their morning practice session.

--Sam Kasan (photos: Brooks Bratten)

11:45 AM:
The four college teams are practicing this morning at CONSOL Energy Center. Robert Morris (9 a.m.), Penn State (10 a.m.) and Ohio State (11 a.m.) have already finished their sessions. Miami will hit the ice at noon. Below are some pics from the practices.

--Sam Kasan (photo cred: Brooks Bratten)

11:00 AM:
On Thursday night, coaches Steve Rohlik (Ohio State), Derek Schooley (Robert Morris) and Guy Gadowsky (Penn State) spoke to the media at a media conference to preview the tournament (Miami coach Enrico Blasi was unable to attend due to travel issues).

--Sam Kasan

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