Twenty six Pittsburgh-area players are playing NCAA Division 1 hockey this season – another sign of the sport’s growth and burgeoning impact in Western Pennsylvania.
In fact, seven local players will be on the rosters of Robert Morris and Ohio State when they meet in the third Pittsburgh College Hockey Showcase Friday night at Mellon Arena.
Last season, 23 Pittsburgh-area products played Division 1 hockey and five local players reached the NHL. This year, Fox Chapel’s Bill Thomas became the second Pittsburgh-area player to play for the Penguins, following in the footsteps of Ryan Malone (Upper St. Clair). Malone is now with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“Interest in hockey here is at an all-time high, and it continues to grow,” said Penguins president David Morehouse. “That is reflected not only in our ticket sales and television ratings but also in the growing participation in amateur hockey at all levels. The fact that the Pittsburgh area is now consistently producing so many Division 1 college players is another example of how the game has taken hold – and is a tribute to all those parents, coaches and local league volunteers who made it possible.”
The Ohio State team that will take on Robert Morris Friday at Mellon Arena features two local players who are NHL draft picks – defenseman Matt Bartkowski of Mt. Lebanon, a draft choice of the Florida Panthers, and forward C. J. Severyn of Beaver, a draft pick of the Calgary Flames. Forward Sergio Somma of Plum also skates for the Buckeyes.
Local products on the Robert Morris roster are forward Furman South (Sewickley), defenseman Denny Urban (Baldwin), defenseman Josh Jones (Scenery Hill) and forward Ron Cramer (New Wilmington).
|2008-09 PITTSBURGH AREA NCAA DIVISION ONE PLAYERS |
|Name ||College ||PIHL High School/hometown |
|Matt Bartkowski ||Ohio State ||Mt. Lebanon |
|Trent Bonnett ||Bentley ||Butler |
|Matt Celin ||Holy Cross ||Gibsonia |
|Chris Clackson ||Western Michigan ||Peters Township |
|Ron Cramer ||Robert Morris ||New Wilmington |
|Eddy Cullen ||Mercyhurst ||Somerset |
|Joe Federoff ||Alabama-Huntsville ||Montour |
|Patrick Gaul ||Notre Dame ||Upper St. Clair |
|Tim Hall ||Colorado College ||Sewickley |
|Christian Hanson ||Notre Dame ||Peters Township |
|Casey Haines ||Ferris State ||Indiana |
|Dane Hetland ||Miami-Ohio ||Bishop Canevin |
|Josh Jones ||Robert Morris ||Scenery Hill |
|Josh Kassell ||Army ||Greensburg |
|Jake Klancher ||St. Lawrence ||Pittsburgh |
|Mike Levendusky ||Western Michigan ||Hempfield |
|Rob Madore ||Vermont ||Venetia |
|Patrick Mullen ||Denver ||Upper St. Clair |
|Matt Quigley ||Northeastern ||Fox Chapel |
|Kenny Reiter ||Minnesota-Duluth ||Pittsburgh |
|Grant Scott ||Minnesota ||Sewickley |
|C.J. Severyn ||Ohio State ||Beaver |
|Sergio Somma ||Ohio State ||Plum |
|Furman South ||Robert Morris ||Sewickley |
|Denny Urban ||Robert Morris ||Baldwin-Whitehall |
|Ryan Zapolski ||Mercyhurst ||Erie Cathedral Prep |