January 2, 2003
Postcard: Pittsburgh's puck future

Pittsburgh residents are fired up about this Friday’s game between Ohio State and Princeton at Mellon Arena, and the recent Pittsburgh Business Times story that highlighted initial plans by Robert Morris officials to bring Division I hockey to the Steel City. Fans have been waving their Terrible Towels for a month, and not just because Tommy Maddox is healthy again.

If Robert Morris does in fact bring college hockey to town on a permanent basis, just think of what the future holds …

Finally, the city won’t have to send all its best amateur hockey players to Ohio State. Although it will continue to send its best pro players to Washington, D.C.

The Robert Morris Blue Line Club will have Iron City on tap at its receptions. They’ll grill burgers and dogs, as well – and douse them with Heinz Ketchup.

Visiting teams will get the grand tour of Pittsburgh, beginning with the glamorous first views of the Three Rivers as they exit the Fort Pitt Tunnel. MAAC teams out of the race for the league’s NCAA automatic bid will seek out their own 15 minutes of fame at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Professional athletes will get into Colonials hockey. Pirates players will note the similarity between Robert Morris and their baseball team – after about four years, once the players get really good, they leave town. Mario himself will drop by the rink, telling the Colonials how to whine about officiating while staying in the league’s good graces. Kordell Stewart will turn up as well, but “Slash” gets ushered to the penalty box for two minutes as soon as he arrives.

The team will draw great crowds at the Island Sports Center, located on an Ohio River island. Fans will be thrilled to have a real rink in town, and local columnists will like it so much more than the Igloo that they dub the arena “Temptation Island.” Jean-Claude van Damme will announce his intentions to remake “Sudden Death” there. Dozens of movie critics will announce their retirement.

The Colonials will be wildly successful on the ice as well. In its first year of eligibility, Robert Morris will make a trip to the MAAC Tournament, securing a bid with a late game-winning goal on a tip-in in front – “The Immaculate Deflection.”

– Nate Ewell

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