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November 27, 2016 - November 29, 2016
Pittsburgh has been seen many youth hockey tournaments in the area over the past several months. However, none have compared to the size and reach of the 10th Annual Pittsburgh Girls Thanksgiving Classic which will be played November 27th – 29th. A total of 70 teams and approximately 1,200 participants will be here in Pittsburgh to play hockey over the holiday break.
Games will be played consistently over the weekend at RMU Island Sports Center, Bladerunners-Warrendale, and the brand new UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
The classic will be played on the Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels, and has age divisions ranging from u10 up to u19s. According to Brian Burke of the NHL, “No sport has developed more in the past 20 years than women’s hockey”. To put this into perspective, in 1990 only 6,336 women were registered with USA Hockey. Today that number has swelled to 65,600 – a 935% increase! This tournament is a testament to the growth of women’s hockey and the popularity of the sport across all boundaries.
Another remarkable component of this tournament is that 49 of the 60 teams are from out of town including teams from Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Sarnia and United States teams from Virginia, New Jersey, Michigan, New York and North Carolina. Pittsburgh is quickly becoming a hot bed for hockey and an arena to showcase women’s hockey from across the continent.
“This annual Thanksgiving Classic is a great opportunity for our Pens Elite teams to be able to host such a large hockey tournament in Pittsburgh where younger girls get the chance to compete against some of the best in the area”, says Pittsburgh Penguins Elite Director of Operations Kathy Pippy. “Ten years ago there were no girls’ program in the region, and today, with the support of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dick’s Sporting Goods we have grown to develop girls’ teams’ u10 up to u19. The future is very bright for girls’ hockey in Pittsburgh!”
The Thanksgiving tournament continues to grow from year to year and serves as a great platform to showcase our elite women amateur hockey players in the area. Here is to the continuation of a great holiday tradition!