Oct. 19, 2010
This is the second in a four part series on the upcoming cities that will host the Men’s Frozen Four. We did a question and answer segment with a former college player who reached the Frozen Four and now plays for the NHL team in that city to provide an insider’s guide to fans attending the championship.
October 12 – 2014 – Matt Carle, University of Denver – Philadelphia Flyers
October 19 – 2013 – Brooks Orpik, Boston College – Pittsburgh Penguins
October 26 – 2012 – Martin St. Louis, University of Vermont – Tampa Bay Lightning
November 2 – 2011 – Robbie Earl, University of Wisconsin – Minnesota Wild
Brooks played three seasons for Boston College, capping it off with a championship at the 2001 Frozen Four. He was drafted in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins and has been with the organization ever since. He made his NHL debut during the 2002-03 season and has been a regular in the Penguins lineup since that time. He has had success wherever he has gone as the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009 and won a silver medal as a member of the 2010 United States Olympic Team.
What are your memories of playing in the Frozen Four?
When I was a freshman, we made the Frozen Four the year it was out in Anaheim so that definitely had a different feel to it. We went to Disneyland and some other places so you almost had to remind yourself that you were out there to play hockey. My sophomore year we lost to North Dakota in Providence in the championship game. My junior year we beat North Dakota for the title in Albany. Providence and Albany were both great atmospheres as the whole city centered around the event and everyone knew that the Frozen Four was in town.
Pittsburgh is a smaller big city closer to the size of Providence so I really think it has the potential to be a great site.
Upon hearing news that Pittsburgh was selected as the site for the 2013 Frozen Four:
I was surprised to be honest. The new building obviously was a huge help. I have been here eight years now and this is definitely not a traditional college hockey market. You dont hear much about Robert Morris and their team in the local media, however, this will be a huge opportunity for them to capitalize on. It will enable them to showcase what they have and I really think this event will help the awareness of college hockey in this market.
You just mentioned the new building, tell us about it.
The CONSOL Energy Center is a huge, huge upgrade from Mellon Arena. It will be an awesome place to showcase the Frozen Four. Mellon Arena was sufficient but it was lacking in so many of the luxury items, so we are excited to be playing there and the players from the teams that make the Frozen Four will be playing in an unbelievable facility.
How is hockey perceived in Pittsburgh?
When I first got there they were kind of going through a rebuilding phase, but we still got our share of publicity. Over the next couple of years we got some high draft picks and the team eventually got better. Obviously when Syd (Crosby) came in there was a lot of hype and excitement. This will always been a football city first but over the past three years we have definitely been close to the same level as the Steelers.
What are some things for fans to do when they come to Pittsburgh?
The first thing I would recommend would definitely be to go to Mount Washington and take the Duquesne Heights Incline. It is the best view of the city and there are restaurants at the top so you can have dinner up there.
The Andy Warhol museum is a very good museum and I would definitely recommend it . There are a lot of things to see and the gift shop is very good as well.
As most people know Philadelphia is known for its cheesesteaks, what is Pittsburgh known for with regards to food?
Its definitely the sandwiches at Primanti Brothers. Basically they are sandwiches, which consist of grilled meat, cole slaw, tomato slices and French fries between two pieces of Italian bread.
What are your favorite restaurants?
There is a little Italian place in Mount Washington called La Tavola Italiana. I go there a lot and the food there is great.
I also recommend Umi in the Shadyside District for sushi.
For those fans who come to Pittsburgh who arent able to get tickets to the game, where would be the best place to watch?
Jerome Bettis Grille 36, it is between the football and baseball stadiums.