Celebrity hockey coming to Ice Connection
by John Enrietto, Butler Eagle Sports Editor
VALENCIA — Bob Black has been involved with hockey most of his life. The former Pine-Richland High School and Slippery Rock University coach has also served as director of a National Youth Hockey Showcase League. “I’ve been around the game at many different levels,” Black said. “None has been more rewarding than working with the
Pittsburgh celebrity hockey team.” Black became director of that team — which includes former Pittsburgh Penguins and other known Pittsburgh area personalities — three years ago. The squad will face the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) All-Star team in a charity game benefitting JDRF at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday at the Ice Connection. Bryan Trottier, Phil Bourque, Francois Leroux and Kim Clackson are among the former Penguins who have played in past charity games. Black plays for the Pittsburgh team as well.
“I’m still a player at heart,” he said. “Being able to skate with or against some of these guys is a once in a
lifetime experience.” The Pittsburgh Celebrity Hockey Team plays an average of eight charity games a year — generally one per month from September through April. Black said the fund-raising goal for Saturday’s game is $10,000.
“It’s a special game for me because this charity affects youths and adults alike,” he said. “And I’ve been playing
hockey at the Ice Connection since it was built in 1975.”
Butler Eagle general manager Ron Vodenichar will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which includes a
Northern Pittsburgh High School Hockey Showdown. The high school portion of the event — featuring three shooters and
one goaltender from eight area high school teams — takes place at 5:20 p.m., or midway between the charity game.
Participating high schools are Butler, Knoch, Seneca Valley, Mars, North Allegheny, Hampton, Pine-Richland and
Deer Lakes. “We invited all eight and all eight are participating. It should be exciting,” Black said.
The high school portion of the event will be a shootout format. The competition will begin with quarterfinal matchups,
followed by the semifinals and finals. Each shooter is awarded a point for a goal, each goaltender a point for a save.
“I’m sure this will be enthusiastic and competitive,” Black said. “Whatever school wins this can claim some major
Doors will open to the public at 4 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door, $3 for kids, $7 for adults. All proceeds benefit JDRF.