April 17 , 2003
Robert Morris To Join Division I Ranks

Colonials aim for 2004-05 debut

Robert Morris At A Glance
Location: Moon Township, Pa.
Enrollment: 4,800
Founded: 1921
Nickname: Colonials
President: Dr. Edward A. Nicholson
Athletics Director: Susan Hofacre
Intercollegiate Sports: 17
NCAA Affiliation: Division I (football Division I-AA)
Conference: Northeast
Prominent Alumni: Former NBA player Earl Cureton, Philadelphia Eagles center Hank Fraley

Inside College Hockey Exclusive
By Mike Eidelbes

As Inside College Hockey first reported Saturday, Robert Morris University in suburban Pittsburgh is preparing to add hockey for the 2004-05 season. The university's sports information director, Jim Duzyk, said that while the school has no timetable for making a formal announcement, they are in the process of purchasing an arena to serve as the home of the Colonials.

The university, which boasts an enrollment of approximately 4,800 students, is in negotiations with the North American Hockey League's Pittsburgh Forge to buy the Island Sports Center. The 32-acre recreation facility in Corapolis, located about 10 minutes from the Robert Morris campus in Moon Township, houses a North American-sized ice sheet with seating for 1,200 spectators as well as an Olympic-sized rink that can accomodate 300 fans.

When asked about conference affiliation, Duzyk said the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) would make the most sense for Robert Morris due to a ready-made travel partner in Mercyhurst, located in Erie, Pa. Two MAAC hockey members, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart, are also part of the Northeast Conference, as are the Colonials. The potential addition of Robert Morris, which currently has a club hockey program, would help the MAAC offset the losses of Fairfield and Iona, which discontinued hockey last month.

The Pittsburgh area has a rich hockey tradition that starts with the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins, winners of two Stanley Cups in the 1990s. College players who hail from western Pennsylvania include Ohio State All-American R.J. Umberger, St. Cloud State standout Ryan Malone and Maine defenseman Cliff Loya. Robert Morris currently sponsors a club hockey team; the Colonials were the American College Hockey Association Division III champions in 2002.

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