Collier dek hockey rink shines bright with charity tournament
The Pittsburgh Penguins weren't the only ones dropping the puck last week.
Area radio personality Mark Madden's Street Hockey USA charity hockey tournament was held last weekend at Collier Park's new dek hockey rink, bringing in teams not just from around the area, but from as far away as Canada.
The charity tournament – this year benefiting the Mario Lemieux Foundation – rotates locations. Madden, who attended the grand opening of the rink, said Collier was the clear choice this year.
“Collier is a brand new rink, it's impeccably maintained and it's a great location – so much is great about it,” he said. “When I saw it, I said, ‘Well we've got to do something here.' It was the obvious choice.”
Forty-two teams competed in the three-day tournament – 26 youth teams and 16 adult teams. The tournament kicked off Friday night at 6:30 with a match between the Pittsburgh Knights Gold and South Hills, both teams for 10- to 12-year-olds.
For Collier, it was a chance to show off.
“We want people to see our new rink,” said Collier parks and recreation director Lisa Novak. “This was a great opportunity because he's bringing in so many teams, and they're coming from all over.”
She said Madden's ringing endorsements are a testament to the rink.
“I had been talking with him back and forth for about a year about how to get more kids involved and more interest in dek hockey,” she said. “There is a lot of inline hockey, but less street hockey. We want a mix of both, and this was a great way.”
Madden, too, looks to grow interest in the sport.
“The great thing about dek hockey is it creates hockey fans,” he said. “You have ice hockey and roller hockey, but dek hockey is the simplest, most affordable of them. It's grassroots. These kids don't grow up to be NHL players, but they definitely grow up to be hockey fans. It grows affection for the game and it's a good cause.”
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.