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10-10-2012, 03:46 PM
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CHN has a timeline-piece on how Battista and Pegula came together to make the PSU program a reality. [LINK]
It was the spring of 2006. Pegula tracked down Battista's unlisted phone number.

"You're not going to remember me," Pegula said to Battista, "but my kid came to your hockey camps, we bring the family to Icer games, we enjoy the way you play."

OK, Battista thought, what's this setting me up for?

"Why aren't we playing Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio State why aren't we a varsity program?" Pegula said.

"If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that," Battista said, rolling his eyes, "we'd have a rink by now."

"Well, I'm in town, and if you're not busy, how about you take me out to dinner," Pegula said.

The pair arranged a meeting at Kelly's Steakhouse in Boalsburg, Pa. Right away, Battista knew that Pegula actually followed hockey.

"Holy smoke, this guy knows his stuff," Battista thought.

Pegula told Battista about his oil company he owned in Pittsburgh, the house he owned in State College.

After a nice dinner, Pegula said, "Maybe I can help you with this."

This guy has no idea how much money it's going to take, Battista muttered to himself. He has no idea how successful a business man I am, Pegula thought.

Battista went home, googled Pegula's name, and nearly fell out of his chair. He found out that Pegula, at that time, was the largest private owner of oil and gas wells East of the Mississippi.

Battista had literally struck oil.

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