The squirt minor Pittsburgh Penguins Elite team certainly lived up to the final word in their name, as they handily defeated the Rochester Grizzlies 10-0 in Sunday afternoon’s championship game of the PPE Icebreaker Tournament at CONSOL Energy Center.
The Penguins Elite presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods played admirably throughout the contest, and found a way to spend most of their time in the Rochester zone.
“I actually thought the kids played really hard,” Penguins Elite head coach Cliff Loya said. “I think they were just jacked up because it was the championship game. If we play that hard, I think we’ll win the majority of our games so it was good to see.”
The highlight of the day was obvious with multiple players echoing the sentiment. Receiving a trophy on the same ice that their NHL heroes skate on is something they’ll never forget.
“It felt great just to skate on that ice and see that trophy in my hands,” said forward Joey Costa.
Aidan Rosko was most prominent on the scoresheet, tallying four of the team’s 10 goals. In all, eight Penguins registered points on the afternoon, including a pair of goals each from Jackson Morehouse and Tre Junker. Michael Brown picked up the shutout, making four stops.
“I think we did really well,” Rosko said. “We worked hard and we didn’t mess around.”
The Penguins were all business from the start, leading 2-0 after the first period, and outshooting Rochester 13-1. Pittsburgh picked up four more goals in the second frame and another four in the third.
Although the Grizzlies suffered a tough loss, both teams, along with their parents, lingered long after the final horn to take photos on the ice with their trophies, and soak in the moment.
“Obviously we’re in the CONSOL Energy Center playing where the NHL guys play and getting the NHL treatment, so I think it went great,” said Loya on the tournament overall. “I think all the teams, no matter if they won, lost or tied, they got a great experience and it was a lot of fun.”