NCAA Division I men’s college hockey takes center stage when the inaugural “Three Rivers Classic” is held December 28-29, 2012 at CONSOL Energy Center.
The four teams scheduled to participate in the two-day event are Robert Morris, Penn State University, Ohio State University and Miami (Ohio) University. Robert Morris is coming off the two-best seasons in its program’s history, while Penn State will be competing in its first year at the Division I level this season. Ohio State and Miami have combined to make 12 NCAA Tournament appearances over the previous 10 years.
Tickets to all four games will go on sale to the general public Friday, October 5 at 10 a.m. at ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center and charge by phone at 800-745-3000.
Two-day packages start from $25. Information for individual session tickets will be available at a later date.
“One of our visions when we opened CONSOL Energy Center was to host a college hockey tournament that would become an annual event in Pittsburgh,” said David Morehouse, CEO and President of the Pittsburgh Penguins. “The Three Rivers Classic gives us that opportunity. We’re delighted to be able to promote the sport in this unique way, to showcase the exceptional level of local college talent in the Pittsburgh area and to expose more of our fans to the excitement of NCAA hockey.”
The Three Rivers Classic is the first of two major college hockey tournaments that will be held this year at CONSOL Energy Center, as the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four National Championship will be played in Pittsburgh on April 11 and 13, 2013.
Robert Morris, which last year finished with a winning record in conference play for the second-straight season, open the tournament by hosting Penn State on Dec. 28 at 4:30 p.m. Miami, which has made seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances – including back-to-back Frozen Four berths in 2009 and ’10 – will take on Ohio State at 7:30 p.m. The Consolation and Championship Games will be played on Dec. 29 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
“With the start of the season just a few weeks away, we're really excited about this year, especially the Three Rivers Classic and the NCAA Frozen Four that will be held at CONSOL Energy Center,” Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley said. “I think the Three Rivers Classic is an excellent name, because it ties the city of Pittsburgh and the local community into the fabric of the tournament. Our players, coaching staff and university community are eagerly awaiting the inaugural tournament.”
“It’s an exciting year for Penn State hockey and to be able to play at an NHL arena like CONSOL Energy Center will be a highlight for our team,” Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “Pittsburgh is a great hockey city, and we look forward to showing the fans what Nittany Lion hockey is all about.”
Robert Morris has played several memorable games against both Ohio State and Miami – including a 3-1 Colonials’ victory against No. 1-ranked Miami at the Civic Arena on Jan. 8, 2010. Last year, Robert Morris and Ohio State met in the RMU Hockey Showcase on Dec. 30, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center – a contest the Buckeyes won by a 4-2 score.
Robert Morris, which was one of just three teams to earn a first-place vote in the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) preseason coaches’ poll, begins a 34-game regular-season schedule by visiting Quinnipiac for a pair of games Oct. 13-14 in Hamden, Connecticut. On Jan. 4, the Colonials will make their fourth-ever appearance on national television when CBS Sports Network airs their game against Army.
Penn State will open its first season at the Division I level on Friday, Oct. 12 when it hosts American International at Greenberg Ice Pavilion. The following night the Nittany Lions and American International will play at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza – the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ top minor-league affiliate the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Penn State will play as an independent this year before joining the newly-formed Big Ten Hockey Conference in ’13-14.