The defending national champion University of Wisconsin women's hockey team, currently ranked No. 1 in the country - and coached by former Penguin Mark Johnson - will highlight a powerhouse field in the first 'Battle at the Burgh' invitational tournament January 4-5 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township.
Wisconsin will be joined by local power Robert Morris and two other nationally-ranked teams, Northeastern and Colgate.
"We are excited to bring the very best in women's college hockey to the Pittsburgh region with this unique tournament," said Kara Radeke, executive director of business operations at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. "It builds on the momentum of the week-long training camps held by the U.S. and Canada national teams in November and will be another great showcase for women's hockey."
The tournament will open with two games on Saturday, January 4 - No. 4 Northeastern taking on No. 11 Colgate at 4 PM, and No. 1 Wisconsin meeting No. 13 Robert Morris at 7 PM.
The consolation and championship games will be played on Sunday, January 5 at 2 PM and 5 PM, respectively.
Tickets are $20 per day (two games each) and may be purchased online here. All seats are general admission.
Wisconsin (18-1-1) is led by the top-three scorers in the NCAA - Daryl Watts, Sophie Shirley and Abby Roque. Coach Mark Johnson, a hero of the 1980 U.S. Olympic 'Miracle on Ice,' played for the Penguins from 1980-82, and is the son of Badger Bob Johnson, who led the Pens to their first Stanley Cup in 1991.
Robert Morris (10-6-2) is the three-time defending regular-season champion of the College Hockey America Conference and recently made their NCAA tournament debut in 2017. The Colonials feature one of the NCAA's top scorers in Jaycee Gebhard.
Northeastern's women's hockey program (14-2) won their second-consecutive Hockey East championship last year, then made a trip to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. This year's team includes the National Goaltender of November, Aerin Frankel, and the National Rookie of November, Katy Knoll.
Colgate, whose recent success includes a trip to the 2018 national championship game, are 9-8-3 on the season. The team includes leading scorer Danielle Serdachny and starting goaltender Liz Auby.
All four participating teams feature an alumnus of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite program. Pittsburgh native Anjelica Diffendal is a junior forward at Robert Morris and played for Pens Elite through the U19 level. Fellow Pens Elite alums Chayla Edwards (Wisconsin), Gwyneth Philips (Northeastern), Delani Mackay (Colgate), Eleri Mackay (Colgate) and Kaitlyn O'Donohoe (Colgate) all played together when the U16 Pens Elite team won the silver at the USA Hockey Nationals in 2017.