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Penguins CEO eyeing World Junior Hockey

| Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 10:42 p.m.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Jack Ramsey (21) tries to control the puck as and Shane Eiserman (19) defends him during the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at the CONSOL Energy Center on Thursday September 26, 2013.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Alex Tuch (10) and Keegan Ford (2) get tangled up during the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at the CONSOL Energy Center on Thursday September 26, 2013.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Goalie Ed Minney (30) stops a shot by the white team during the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at the CONSOL Energy Center on Thursday September 26, 2013.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Ryan Donato (20) and Keegan Iverson (18) battle for control of the puck during the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Thursday Sept. 26, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Blake Weyrick stops a shot while in goal for the white team during the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at the CONSOL Energy Center on Thursday September 26, 2013.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Nathan Billitier (7) and Shane Gersich go for the puck during the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Thursday September 26, 2013, at Consol Energy Center.

David Morehouse is confident the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will not mark the last time Pittsburghers get a look at youth hockey stars on the big stage.

“I think at this point it's simply logistics,” Morehouse, the Penguins CEO, said Thursday of a potential Under-20 World Junior Championship coming to Western Pennsylvania.

“I don't think it's a rough road at all. It's just a matter of putting together an application.”

The World Junior Championship is next scheduled for the United States in 2018.

Morehouse would not say when the Penguins would apply for Consol Energy Center to serve as primary host for the World Junior Championship — an international tournament staged each winter. He added that the regional cities such as Johnstown, Erie and Wheeling (W.Va.) provide enough rinks to accommodate the two-week tournament.

Four players with ties to Western Pennsylvania fueled the United States' gold-medal victory at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Those players — John Gibson (Whitehall), Vince Trocheck (Upper St. Clair), J.T. Miller (Coraopolis) and Riley Barber (Washington) —were not household names on the local sports scene, though their hockey accomplishments arguably rivaled the high school football achievements of top recruits of the recent past like Terrelle Pryor and Rushel Shell.

“Hockey in general, not just Pittsburgh, has a problem contextualizing where the kids come from,” Morehouse said.

An announced 5,059 fans attended the USA All-American Prospects Game on Thursday, which featured 40 of the best U.S.-born players eligible for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. That group included 22 players committed to an NCAA program and 26 currently with United States Hockey League junior clubs. More than 120 professional scouts attended the game.

Team (Mark) Johnson defeated Team (Joe) Mullen, 5-2. Johnson and Mullen are former Penguins players.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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