Pennsylvania and Ohio hockey fans were treated to some quality hockey this past weekend at the first annual Three Rivers Classic college hockey tournament held at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. With the current NHL lockout approaching its fourth month, it was no surprise that the total attendance was 22,460 for both days.
Four men’s hockey teams, Robert Morris University Colonials, Penn State University Nittany Lions, Miami Univeristy of Ohio Redhawks (ranked #5 in NCAA hockey) and Ohio State Buckeyes, competed over a two-day period this past Friday and Saturday for the Confluence Cup. The qualifying rounds were held on Friday with the winners, Robert Morris and Miami of Ohio, advancing to the Championship game on Saturday evening. The consolation game between Penn State and Ohio State was played prior to the Championship game.
The final game for the Confluence Cup was a hard-fought battle between the two highly skilled teams. Pittsburgh Penguins head coach, Dan Bylsma, dropped the ceremonial puck at the start of the game. The RMU Colonials ultimately came out on top when Brandon Denham batted the puck past the Redhawks freshman goalie, Ryan McKay, for the only goal of the game. Bylsma also presented the Champions with the inaugural Confluence Cup at the conclusion of the tournament.
Tournament MVP honors went to senior Colonials goaltender, Eric Levine, who was perfect in stopping all 99 shots he faced through both games he played against both the PSU Nittany Lions (48 SOG) and Miami of Ohio Redhawks (51 SOG). That’s quite an impressive showing and even more impressive is the fact that these two shutouts bring him to a total of three for this season (in 12 games played). All-tournament team members include RMU goalie, Levine; Redhawks defensemen Steven Spinell and Matthew Caito; and forwards Casey Bailey from PSU, Ryan Dzingel of Ohio State and Cody Wydo of Robert Morris.
If you weren’t able to attend the games or want another chance to watch them, ROOT Sports Pittsburgh will be broadcasting the Championship as well as the consolation games on January 5 at 4:00 pm (est) and 6:00 pm and January 11 at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins columnist for RantSports.com. If you enjoy her articles / posts, you can follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her personal Facebook page (via Networked Blogs), visit her personal Tumblr page, or stop by her Pinterest page.