Two years removed from their upset over the Miami University (Ohio) Redhawks in the inaugural Three Rivers Classic, the Robert Morris University Colonials are looking to reclaim the championship this year after finishing a dismal fourth in last year’s tournament.
The Colonials will try to build off their impressive start to the 2014-15 season when they arrive at CONSOL Energy Center on Dec. 29 for their first game when they square off against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Robert Morris currently sits atop the Atlantic Hockey division with a record of 9-2-3 and find themselves ranked 19th in the nation with an overall record of 11-2-1.
Led by outstanding senior forward Cody Wydo, it took the Colonials 10 games before they suffered their first loss of the season. Before that, they rattled off eight wins and two ties, including a five-game winning streak to start the season. Their success can be attributed to their outstanding play in the offensive zone. Their 4.12 goals-per-game average has them sitting nicely atop the national standings.
Wydo, a senior from Saginaw, Michigan, has been one of the top components for the Colonials success this year. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound forward offered up 25 points (11G-14A) for his club this season, which currently has him sitting third in the nation in scoring.
The Colonials have some impressive goaltending to thank as well for their hot start to the season. Through eight games, netminder Dalton Izyk has a 6-1 record, 2.30 goals-against average, save percentage of .931 and two shutouts. Izyk’s save percentage is currently tied for 14th in the nation, while his two shutouts rank eighth.
Special teams will also be a key to victory for RMU if they wish to take back the 3RC crown. The Colonials have a 22.4 percent power-play conversion rate. Only eight schools have are better and Western Michigan and Penn State happen to be two of them. Their penalty kill is currently functioning at 83.8 percent, which is the most successful of the four teams competing in the tournament.
Author: Joey Sykes