Three Rivers Classic
Logo for the 2012 Three Rivers Classic
|Sport||College ice hockey|
|No. of teams||4|
|Most recent champion(s)||Robert Morris University|
The Three Rivers Classic is a two-day Division I college ice hockey tournament which is held annually at Consol Energy Center, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The inaugural tournament took place on December 28–29, 2012 and featured teams from Penn State, Robert Morris University, Ohio State and Miami (Ohio) University. The Classic is the evolution of a showcase of games that the Robert Morris Colonials have played against the Ohio State Buckeyes and Miami RedHawks at either Consol Energy Center or Mellon Arena in previous years.
2012 Three Rivers Classic
- The Classic took part for Penn State during the school's first year playing in Division I ice hockey, while Robert Morris has played both Miami and Ohio State routinely throughout its nine-year history.
- Miami (Ohio) also entered the inaugural Three Rivers Classic nationally ranked at No. 5.
- R. J. Umberger, a Pittsburgh-native and National Hockey League All-Star with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers, served as an assistant coach for Ohio State during the tournament. He played ice hockey in high school for the area's Plum High School.
The Classic's semifinals featured Robert Morris facing off against Penn State and Miami taking on Ohio State. The two winners would then play in the championship the next day, while the losers would play in a consolation game. In the opening games Robert Morris defeated Penn State, 6-0, while Miami (Ohio) defeated Ohio State, 1-0. The next night, Penn State defeated Ohio State, 6-5, to win third place in tournament. Shortly afterwards, Robert Morris defeated Miami (Ohio), 1-0, to win the tournament championship.
2013 and beyond
Since many fans of the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins, who play their regular season at Consol Energy Center, are also fans of Robert Morris and Penn State, event organizers see those two teams being fixtures for the tournament. The 2013 Classic on December 27 and 28th will feature Robert Morris, Penn State, Boston College and Bowling Green University. Meanwhile teams such as the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota and Mercyhurst University are seen as potential participants for upcoming Classics.
The total attendance for the games held on December 28 was listed as 11,663, while 10,797 turned out for the next day's games. The attendance total of 22,460 exceeded what had been hoped for by the event's planners, who estimated only 5,000 - 6,000 fans for each day of the games. The inaugural Classic also took part during the 2012–13 NHL lockout, which may have helped increase interest in the event.
- Werner, Sam (December 28, 2012). "Robert Morris hockey attracts strong field for Three Rivers Classic". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Yohe, Josh (December 29, 2012). "Robert Morris hockey pulls yet another upset of Miami (Ohio)". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Catanese, Stephen (January 1, 2013). "Plum’s Umberger joins coaching ranks". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Yohe, Josh (December 28, 2012). "RMU hockey routs Penn State in Three Rivers Classic". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Molinari, Dave (December 31, 2012). "Three Rivers Classic a sccuess at the gate". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- CONSOL Energy Center, http://www.consolenergycenter.com/events/detail/three-rivers-classic-1