Reporting John Shumway
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Hockey has returned to Pittsburgh. The regular season kicks off Saturday, but before the Penguins head to Philadelphia this weekend, the team is going all out tonight for the Black & Gold Game.
And everyone is invited.
On this the 112th birthday of Frank Zamboni, a tandem of his namesakes were putting a fresh surface on CONSOL Energy Center ice, all while Ian White and Derrick Deviner worked nearby to ice tonight’s beer.
“It was tough, but we went through it, we handed it,” said Deviner.
Like the guys on the ice, the staff has to make up for lost time.
“Normally, this is the time of the season, we’d be in a groove but now we’re having to start like it’s October all over again,” White added.
Next door, other jobs have filled the void for Fred Mangold but he’s there for more than money.
“Love the atmosphere; love the people who work here. It’s great,” said Mangold, a vendor.
The Black & Gold Game will include a full game, overtime and a shootout.
“It’s a great dry run for all the building workers, and the concessions workers, and for concessions and everything else,” said Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse.
And for the fans, Morehouse says they will see more Penguins in action in the Black & Gold Game than ever before.
“It’s a great opportunity for fans to come see the young talent they haven’t had a chance to see yet, as well as the star players who haven’t played since last year,” said Morehouse. “So, it’s a unique opportunity to come, relax, see some great hockey and do it all for free.”
Jerry Schaub, another vendor, is expecting to welcome home a lot of familiar faces tonight.
“There will be a lot of handshakes, and ‘How was your summer?’ And things like that,” said Schaub.