By Dave Crawley

ROSTRAVER (KDKA) — It’s another great year for the Penguins. And a great year as well for the Rostraver Ice Garden.

A contest with more than 1,300 competitors nationwide ended with the Rostraver rink winning a Kraft Hockeyville grant of $150,000.

Rink owner Jim Murphy says the announcement was made on the big screen at Rostraver. It’s a change in fortune for a rink that saw its roof, and hope for the future, collapse in a Valentine’s Day storm in 2010.

“We had to come out of pocket for some of the expenses, and there are some bells and whistles that we’d like to do that the grant is going to enable us to do,” the owner says.

So what does that have to do with the Penguins? The Stanley Cup champions will play an exhibition game against the Saint Louis Blues Sept. 24 at the Rostraver Ice Garden, broadcast nationwide.

“It’s my understanding that the NHL are considering doing some additional enhancements over and above the grant from Kraft Hockeyville,” Murphy says. “But that hasn’t been finalized yet. They’re in discussion phases. That interaction with the NHL is probably going to be expedited now that the Stanley Cup is won.”

It’s heady stuff for a rink that was on the verge of bankruptcy.

“I’ve never gotten anything for free in my entire life,” the owner concludes. “So this is a first for Jim Murphy.”

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