PIHL to sponsor 3 outdoor games
Last year's Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League outdoors charity game worked so well last year, Ed Sam wants it to happen again this year -- three times.
The PIHL will feature three outdoor hockey games in the Outdoor Charity Series, beginning Jan. 22 at the North Park Ice Rink. The PIHL first sponsored an outdoor charity game last year, when Mt. Lebanon faced Bethel Park.
"It's great to be able to do a game that benefits charity," PIHL commissioner Sam said. "Last year, it was very successful."
In the first game, Pine-Richland will face North Allegheny to benefit the Susan G. Comen for the Cure (breast cancer foundation). Two additional games will be played at the South Park Ice Rink, with proceeds going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Mt. Lebanon will again meet Bethel Park on Feb. 5, and Peters Township will play host to South Park on Feb. 15.
All games will begin at 7 p.m.
"This takes hockey back to its roots," Sam said. "The kids are excited about doing something like this."
North Allegheny coach Jim Black said the game might pose a bit of culture shock to his players, most of whom have only skated outside in a public rink.
"Unless they got a pond at their house, I don't know when they get to play (hockey) outdoors," he said.
Black said North Allegheny and Pine-Richland will practice Monday at North Park to get accustomed to the ice surface and the rink, which is one of the biggest areas for hockey in Western Pennsylvania.
"The one thing I am going to do is have the kids practice on ice that is uncut, so they will be used to handling the puck when there is snow on the rink," he said.