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2014 Three Rivers Classic Blog: Day 2

by Joey Sykes / Pittsburgh Penguins
Welcome to the 2014 Three Rivers Classic blog. RMU, Colgate, Western Michigan and Penn State are all competing for the tournament crown on Dec. 29-30 at CONSOL Energy Center. Stay tuned here for the latest updates, results and reactions from the tournament!

RECAP: COLGATE 6, ROBERT MORRIS 1

The Colgate Raiders didn't just take the 3RC crown, they took it. Six unanswered goals were evidence of that and now they can take this momentum into a tough conference schedule awaiting them.

Things didn't start out decisivley for the Raiders from the opening faceoff. RMU actually netted the first goal of the game after Matt Cope received a breakaway opportunity, which he cashed in on. But from there, everything went down hill for the Colonials.

The Raiders scored two goals by Kyle Baun and Jake Kulevich and had their team up by one at the end of the first 20 minutes.

In the second, Joe Wilson tucked in a controversial goal for his fifth of the season. Dalton Izyk, RMU's netminder seemingly had the puck covered under his leg pad, but didn't get a whistle in time before Wilson poked it in. Despite letting in six goals, Izyk made some incredible saves that would've made the score a lot worse than it was. The Colonials' head coach, Derek Schooley was proud of his netminder tonight.

"He was outstanding," Schooley said. "He battles, he competes, he has a nasty streak. I thought he was very good. I think we hung him out to dry a little bit."

The Raiders would net one more goal in the second, a rebound shot by Mike Panowyk before piling on two more in the third. Both of the third period goals came from twin brothers Tyson and Tylor Spink.

"I thought we played great," Colgate goalie Charlie Finn said. "Honestly from the start all the way to the end of the game, I thought we stuck to our game. We didn't try to do anything too complicated. We played really solid defensivley, which made my job really easy."

After the game, Colgate's head coach, Don Vaughan reflected on how great of an experience this tournament was.

"We played in a number of holiday tournaments on an annual basis and we couldn't have been treated better with this facility," Vaughan said. "There's something about walking out onto the ice and you're going by number 66 and pictures of Stanley Cup championship teams. It's very motivational. That's where all these guys aspire to be and you couldn't have been in a better place to help them get to the NHL level. It was a phenomenal trip for us."



Robert Morris vs. Colgate Running Blog - CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

UPDATE:


That's it! The Colgate Raiders are your 2014 Three Rivers Classic Champs! The final score is 6-1. Congrats to all four teams on a great tournament. Stay tuned for a recap of the game and reactions from coaches and players!

UPDATE:

The second period has concluded here at CONSOL Energy Center and what a period it was for Colgate. The Raiders have now scored four unanswered goals with two of them coming in the second period.

The first goal of the period was a dirty one. RMU's Izyk covered the puck with his right leg pad after it drifted towards him in the crease. However, Colgate's Joe Wilson still made a play on the puck and poked it out underneath from Izyk. The puck then found it's way past the goal line much to the dismay of RMU and its fans. There would be no review of the goal. It would be Wilson's fifth of the season.

The Raiders, who seemed like they constantly had possession of the puck, netted their fourth on a beautiful play. Wilson made a smart pass over to Darcy Murphy who was all alone at the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Murphy ripped one, but Izyk would get a shoulder on the puck and it would careen over to the other side of the slot. Thankfully for Colgate, Mke Panowyk was there to bury it home for his fifth of the season.

We have 20 more minutes left to play here in Pittsburgh. RMU is going to have strike early if they have any hope of getting back in this one.

UPDATE:


After one period, Colgate heads into intermission up 2-1 over RMU. We got a few weird goals and one nice snipe worthy of noting.

RMU opened things up seven minutes into the period after junior forward Matt Cope secured a breakaway opportunity off a nice feed up the center of the ice from from fellow junior Brandon Denham. Cope, pursued by a Colgate defender, tripped his own self up on the play, but managed to pull off a shot off that it trickled in under Colgate netminder Charlie Finn's five hole. The goal was Cope's fifth of the season.

The Raiders answered exactly a minute later when senior Daniel Gentzler ripped one at RMU goalie Dalton Izyk. Izyk defended the shot, but wasn't able to secure the puck. The puck then was knocked to the side of the sophomore netminder before RMU's Kyle Baun found it and shot it into the net before Izyk could get back in position.

Colgate would take the lead with just under five minutes left to go in the period off a nice shot from Jake Kulevich, the Raiders' sophomore defender. The puck hummed past Izyk's glove side for Kulevich's third of the season.

We're one-third of the way through folks until we find a champion. Stay tuned!

19 Robert Morris vs 17 Colgate

The Colonials and the Raiders are about to take the ice here at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh for the Three Rivers Classic Championship. Will RMU claim their second 3RC crown or will Colgate win it all in their first-ever appearance? Find out next!



RECAP: WESTERN MICHIGAN 4, PENN STATE 1


Despite scoring a late goal in the third period, Penn State couldn't seem for the life of them get on the same level as Western Michigan. With the win, WMU knocks off the 20th ranked Nittany Lions and takes third place in their first ever Three Rivers Classic appearance.

Right from the start, the Broncos took it to the Nittany Lions after they relentlessly attacked their opponent in each of the three zones. The Broncos found the back of the net early in the first and continued to pour it on for the rest of the game.

The second period saw the Broncos knot two more goals that pretty much secured their victory. The Lions did, however, get a few opportunities late in the second, but Lukas Hafner, WMU's netminder, came up strong. Head coach Andy Murray was proud of the effort his team showed early on, but stressed that there is never a reason for a squad to take their foot off the gas pedal.

"We're obviously pleased with the win and the way that we played," Murray said. "We were solid defensivley, but lost a little bit of respect there for the game in the second period. We started thinking it was easy, but the game of hockey is hard and as soon as you start to think it's easy, you're in trouble. We came out in the the third, had good puck possession and we're pleased with the win for sure."

PSU tried to make a comeback just four minutes into the third when they scored their lone goal of the match after forward Curtis Loik shot the puck that went directly under Hafner's glove hand. Erik Autio was the PSU player who tallied the assist. WMU struck back midway through the period to get the score back to within three, however. Aidan Muir scored his second of the game by redirecting a pass from linemate Justin Kovacs.

"Playing on a line with (Will) Kessel and Kovacs, two veteran guys, makes the game easy, so all I had to do was go through the middle and I ended up with the puck on my stick and dropped it back to Kovacs and he made a nice pass and I'm working on my redirections in practice and it's showing that it's paying off."

WMU goaltender Lukas Hafner (32 saves) has to thank his guys up front for his great game in the blue paint.

"I think our guys just do a great job of keeping (the forwards) to the outside," Hafner said. "Our defense is really strong, standing up guys and really letting me see the puck tonight. Penn State puts a lot of pucks on net, so I think that was their gameplan. It's a lot easier to control your rebounds when there isn't second opportunites. Our guys do a great job of boxing guys out front like they did."

Stay tuned for the championship game up next between teh Colgate Raiders and the Robert Morris Colonials!



Western Michigan-Penn State Running Blog

UPDATE:


And that's it for the consolation game. WMU tops Penn State 4-1 in a game that was all but the Broncos'. Both clubs tallied one goal in the third.

Stay tuned for a full recap of the third period along with reactions from both sides of the ice.

UPDATE:

It looks as if this one is all but over folks. At the end of two, the game is 3-0 in favor of the Broncos.

The WMU forecheck has dominated Penn State from any hopes of coming back. The Broncos knotted two big goals that put the Nittany Lions back into a corner and it looks like they'll stay there unless PSU head coach Guy Gadowsky gives one heck of a motivational speech to his players during intermission.

The second WMU goal of the night and first of the second period was scored by freshman forward Aidan Muir after ripping a shot from the left faceoff circle before it seemingly deflected off a PSU player in the crease. The lone assist goes to sophmore blueliner Taylor Fleming.

The Broncos' third goal came from Colton Hargove, a junior forward from Rockwall, Texas. He picked up his own rebound after shooting the puck off a PSU defenseman then skated to the side of the slot to put the puck past Skoff's right pad.

Penn State needs some sort of fire under their bench if they hope to make any sort of a comeback, but from what we saw up here, that seems to be a long shot.

UPDATE:

After the first horn sounds here in Pittsburgh, WMU and their offense have been putting the pressure on PSU in their defenseive zone. The result of this is a 1-0 Broncos lead. The goal comes off the stick of WMU captain and sophomore forward Sheldon Dries. Dries got the puck in the slot where he fired a wrister over PSU netminder Matthew Skoff's right shoulder at the 7:22 mark in the first. WMU junior forward and Dries' fellow captain, Nolan LaPorte, along with junior D-man Kenny Morrison got the assists.

Western Michigan vs. 20 Penn State

Welcome hockey fans to day two of the third-annual Three Rivers hockey tournament. To kick off the day, we have the the 20th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions taking on the Western Michigan Broncos in the consolation game. After a tough loss last night to in-state rivals RMU, PSU will be looking to stay disicplined to walk out of CONSOL Energy Center victoriuos. Stay tuned for period-by-period coverage of the game.
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