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Pittsburgh Penguins, Robert Morris University Forge Bonds

A nice little article by Michael Sanserino popped up over at the Post-Gazette yesterday examining the growing bonds between Robert Morris University and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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The article goes into some detail highlighting the many ways that RMU and the Penguins have helped one another out, from sharing Robert Morris’ Island Sports Center facilities with the Penguins to the annual Pittsburgh Hockey Showcase and the upcoming 2013 Frozen Four, the national collegiate hockey finals, being hosted at the soon-to-open Consol Energy Center.

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As Robert Morris Athletic Director Craig Coleman said:

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“We could not have a better relationship with a professional sports franchise than we at Robert Morris have with the Pittsburgh Penguins,”

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So, why is this important to Pittsburgh sports?

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The rise of Robert Morris University as Division I hockey team fills in a pretty significant gap in Pittsburgh sports. The Penguins, no doubt, lead to the rise of local high school hockey, but, for a long time, there was no top-level collegiate program in the city.

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Robert Morris’ quick emergence (having been formed in ’03-04) as a solid program, their ability to compete with the best (beating premier programs such as Miami of Ohio and Notre Dame), and appearances in prominent, professional facilities will continue to attract higher-end talent to the school.

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As the school improves, it will hopefully gain prominence and have more of a significant impact on the youth hockey scene in the area, much as the Penguins did in the late ’80s.

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If all goes right, we could be looking at a continuous cycle with increasingly positive results.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.