Youth hockey event in Richland highlighted by Pens prospects
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Packing their own helmets, mouth guards and shin pads, more than 30 children recently played dek hockey with the Pittsburgh Penguins in Richland Community Park.
The youngsters also brought a ton of awe.
“It was nice to meet the Penguins players,” Cohen Benik, 8, said after playing in a brief scrimmage coached by a handful of college-age Penguins prospects.
The one-period match capped a 60-minute, free hockey clinic for children ages 5 to 12 sponsored by the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.
Isabella Chiaramonte, 5, of Richland, attended the clinic with her brother, Anthony, 10.
“She plays for the baby Pens down at Harmarville,” said Heather Chiaramonte, Isabella's mother.
Isabella knows a lot of Pittsburgh Penguins' names, and “she was in awe,” her mother said, when a number of the Penguins — wearing black polo shirts and shorts — stepped off their chartered bus to Richland Community Park.
“Seeing the big guys boosts their confidence,” said Tim Maksin of West Deer, a youth hockey coach who brought son Wyatt, 6, to the clinic.
“His whole room is nothing but Penguins,” Maksin said. “He's obsessed with the Penguins.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins sent six team prospects to the clinic, which featured a lot of running around orange cones, as participants pushed, passed and slapped orange balls with their hockey sticks.
Proud parents and siblings watched intently but strained to recognize family members. Almost everyone looked alike in their helmets, protective pads and complimentary white Penguins T-shirts.
Nick Lappin, 21, of Chicago — one of the six Penguins' prospects at the clinic — well remembers being a youngster enthralled with grown-up hockey players.
“When I was younger, there were older guys doing the same thing,” said Lappin, a junior at Brown University in Providence, R.I. “It's good to give back.”
Penguins prospect Sam Lafferty, 19, of Hollidaysburg, Blair County, welcomed the escape to Richland.
“It's nice to get out and get away from the rink,” Lafferty said. “It's a lot of fun.”
Penguins prospects Harrison Ruopp, Scott Wilson, Teddy Blueger and Conor Sheary also participated in the clinic as part of the Penguins' annual player-development camp at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh's Uptown neighborhood.
“Hopefully, we'll see these guys (playing hockey in future years) at the Consol Center,” said Marc Voit, a coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite youth hockey program.
Voit, 48, of Pine — a father of five, an American Airlines pilot and a former professional triathlete — led the July 16 hockey clinic in Richland Community Park.
“The goal is — for the Penguins — to get the professional players involved in the community,” Voit said. “The Penguins are more than a professional sport team.”
The Penguins offered similar clinics on July 16 at other dek hockey rinks in Brookline Memorial Park; Banksville Park; Hosanna House/Sherwood Event Center; Lewis Park/Hazelwood YMCA; and Riverside Park in Oakmont.
The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation built all of the dek hockey rinks as part of its Project Power Play, a program to build 12 dek hockey rinks in Pittsburgh area communities by 2016.
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- Heyward, swarming defense get best of Chiefs in Steelers’ win
- Steelers offense learning to slam door
- Downie, Farnham bringing a much-needed edge to the Penguins
- Archery hunting in Mt. Lebanon called off for now
- Pittsburgh police doubling up on duty after potential threats
- Pittsburgh mayor Peduto goes ‘Undercover’ for CBS reality show
- Search for Duquesne University graduate Kochu continues
- Steelers-Bengals game to start at 8:30 p.m.
- Steelers clinch trip to postseason with big victory over Chiefs
- Fire marshal rules arson in Kittanning blaze