|Robert Morris' Cody Wydo scored twice against the Nittany Lions last season|
The Nittany Lion men will visit Robert Morris' 84 Lumber Arena on Friday, November 1st at 7:05 p.m., a game made official by the Colonials' release of their 2013-2014 schedule on Wednesday evening and in reciprocation of a meeting at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion on December 15, 2012.
RMU was 20-14-4 (13-11-3 Atlantic Hockey) last season and is a program that continues to grow by a remarkable margin from year to year since their 2004 establishment. Reaching the 20-win plateau was a program first, and the Colonials' narrowly missing out on an NCAA Tournament at-large bid by finishing 17th in the PairWise Rankings was also the best result in team history.
Penn State played an unwilling role in both of those marks, thanks to a pair of Colonials wins over the Lions. In that Ice Pavilion game, RMU won 3-2 thanks to Tyler Hinds' third period goal, one of just six scored by the Academic All-American defenseman in his career. Two weeks later, the result was more decisive: a 6-0 bludgeoning on the opening day of the inaugural Three Rivers Classic at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Goalie Eric Levine made 48 stops in that game, then made 51 more the next day in a 1-0 win over Miami to take both the tournament title for his team and MVP honors for himself. For PSU, the Pittsburgh defeat, while softened somewhat by a consolation win over Ohio State, was one of the only blowout losses in NCAA year one. Call it long-awaited new program embarrassment payback for the Icers' 3-2 win over RMU back on October 8, 2005, early in the Colonials' second season.
The good news for the Nittany Lions is that Levine has graduated, as have Hinds, leading scorer Adam Brace, and 12-goal man Zach Hervato. The bad news is that Cody Wydo - who potted two in the Three Rivers Classic game among his team-high 21 for the season - is back, as is new captain Colin South, and they'll be complemented by a recruiting class including big blueliner Robert Mann and Dalton Izyk, who has been with the USHL's Indiana Ice for the past two seasons and should compete to fill Levine's sizable skates in the crease.
As with last season, the 2013-2014 stand-alone game will precede a possible matchup at the Three Rivers Classic. While the pairings for the December 27-28 tournament have not been announced (and probably won't be for a while), a repeat of PSU-RMU, with Bowling Green playing Boston College in the other first-day game, is a fairly safe bet.
Penn State's schedule now includes 29 fully-confirmed games against the 34-game NCAA limit. The final five games are expected to be a home series against UMass-Lowell, a single home game versus Boston College, and a series at Air Force. For the full list, see M Schedules/Results.