Robert Morris wants to host Frozen Four again


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The question was barely out of someone's mouth -- Do you want to do this again? -- when Marty Galosi blurted out his answer.

"Yes," said the senior associate athletic director at Robert Morris and one of the organizers of the Frozen Four tournament this weekend at Consol Energy Center.

A couple of hours before Quinnipiac and Yale faced off in the NCAA hockey final, Galosi already was satisfied with the way the event was going and ready to launch into the process of landing another.

"We're getting positive marks from everybody," he said.


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Not that filling the role of host school -- with an assist from the Penguins and VisitPittsburgh, among others -- has been easy.

"So much goes into this," Galosi said. "It really is amazing. It's an eye-opener.

"Reality sort of set in when you see the [Frozen Four] logo on the ice and you see it on the dasher boards. We have ownership of this. For RMU, this is a little outside of our zone of operation. We've never done anything like this.

"We didn't do everything. I don't want it sound like we split the atom. A lot of people had a hand in it."

Penguins general manager Ray Shero -- who was at the semifinals Thursday and the final Saturday, even though his club was playing on the road those nights -- nearly jumped when told that Robert Morris could very well make a bid to bring the Frozen Four back.

"I'd love to see this here again," Shero said. "It says a lot if you can attract that again. It says you've done a great job to bring it to Pittsburgh. And it would be awesome to bring it here again because it's been a great experience. I'm glad we can be here and be supportive of it."

Galosi has been one of the organizers from the beginning -- which he traced to a meeting at a Penguins game before the 2004-05 NHL lockout. It was arranged by Penguins vice president Tom McMillan, and Galosi, late Robert Morris athletic director Susan Hofacre and Robert Morris men's coach Derek Schooley (whose team had been announced but had not played a game yet) attended.

Galosi and Schooley were floored when McMillan floated the idea.

"We about choked on our chicken strips," Galosi said. "We thought, 'Hmm, I wonder if we could?' I'm not sure we really believed that we could.

"We knew someday there would probably be a new arena in Pittsburgh. I think 2007 is when we really started the real work. Our initial letter [of application to the NCAA] went out in January of '08. We wanted to bid on the next one that was available."

The Colonials' bid was accepted in the summer of 2010.

Galosi attended the previous five Frozen Fours in preparation for this one.

He said he was beyond being happy with the semifinal and final games (both events near sellouts). The day off Friday led to a great number of fans at player autograph sessions -- "Huge. Looong lines," Galosi said. And a public skate that night drew about 1,100 people, causing organizers to separate them into four groups of about 300. The 2014 Frozen Four is at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

None have been awarded to any schools or cities beyond that, leaving the door open for Robert Morris to apply for it again.

Signing up fast

An hour after he was announced as the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player this season and less than 24 hours after he and St. Cloud State lost in the semifinals of the Frozen Four, forward Drew LeBlanc turned pro Friday night and signed a one-year contract with the NHL Chicago Blackhawks. LeBlanc was not drafted and was a free agent in NHL terms.

One of his college teammates, winger Ben Hanowski, signed a two-year, $1,620,000 contract with Calgary. Hanowski was drafted by the Penguins in the third round of the 2009 NHL draft, but his rights were traded to the Flames in the Jarome Iginla trade last month.

Massachusetts Lowell defenseman Chad Ruhwedel, whose team also lost in the semifinals here, signed a two-year deal as a free agent with Buffalo and played for the Sabres Saturday. He had no points and no statistics in 13 minutes of playing time.

Shero loves college hockey

Shero played four years of hockey at St. Lawrence, has several players on the Penguins roster who played in college and loves everything about college hockey.

"I think it's a great development path," he said. "Having been through the college route, I'd do it again tomorrow.

"I love my job, but that was fantastic -- the college hockey, the whole college scene, lifelong friends."

Here and there

Starting next year, the Division I and Division III championships will be held at the same site. ... Tucker Mullin, a senior forward at Division III Saint Anselm, became the third non-Division I player since 1996 to be awarded the Hockey Humanitarian Award. Mullin, of Andover, Mass., is a team captain and co-founder of the Thomas E. Smith Fight to Cure Paralysis Foundation. He has 88 points in 100 games. ... Easter was early this year, but the NCAA hockey final was late. This was the latest calendar day for the championship game. It had twice been held April 12 but never April 13.

mobilehome - frozenfour

Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly. First Published April 14, 2013 4:00 AM


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