Three Rivers Classic
When: Monday Dec. 29 and Tuesday Dec. 30
Where: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Game Time: Monday PSU vs Robert Morris 7:30 p.m./ Tuesday TBA
Live Video Stream: Nada. Zip. Goose-egg. You will have to use your imagination.
Penn State (#20) enters the tournament in the wake of receiving the first ranking in the USCHO poll in program history. Three out of four teams in the tournament are ranked, with Colgate (17th) and Robert Morris (19th) included. The more important Pairwise rankings, which are used to proximate the eventual field of teams that will play in the NCAA tournament, have PSU at a #16 ranking while Colgate (#20) and Robert Morris (#21) have respectable rankings in this area as well.
Western Michigan (#36 Pairwise) will take on Colgate in the first game of the event at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. The winning teams in the first round will face-off in the championship game at 7:30 on Tuesday. The losing teams will play the consolation match at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Robert Morris University is located less than 20 miles from the CONSOL Energy Center, making the Colonials the home team in this event. RMU (11-2-3) has only one win against a quality opponent this season, coming on the road against Mercyhurst on December 13.
RMU employs a platoon at goalie with junior Terry Shafer and sophomore Dalton Izyk each starting 8 games apiece. The stats while each goalie is in net are essentially the same. Shafer owns a 2.21 GAA and a 5-1-2 record. Dalton has a 2.30 GAA with a record of 6-1-0.
On the offensive side the Colonial's scoring leader is senior forward Cody Wydo who enters the game with 11 goals and 14 assists. The team has six players with point totals between 14-16 on the year. The offensive attack is well-rounded. They play the same style of hockey as the Nittany Lions. A high volume of shots leads to a high volume in the scoring column.
The stats for each team are dead even. PSU averages 39.6 shots on goal per game Robert Morris averages 37.6. RMU averages 4.1 goals per game and the Lions average 3.5. The teams each give up roughly 2.5 goals per game to their opponents. While the Colonial's numbers are slightly better, when factoring in the tougher schedule that Penn State has endured, it's pretty even. Penn State averages 3.7 penalties per game while RMU averages 4.2 ppg. This is one area where PSU could find an edge.
Guy Gadowsky's team will be bolstered by the return of several players. Erik Autio will return to the team after attempting to make the Finland World Junior Hockey roster. Autio was was unable to survive the last round of cuts. Zach Saar, Jonathan Milley, Taylor Holstrom, and David Glen are all expected to be available to play after dealing with injury.
Robert Morris has faced only one challenge on the road this year, splitting a pair at Mercyhurst two weeks ago. Gadowsky's troops have played a pair on the road at Alaska, UMass-Lowell, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The game tonight will be the first for RMU against a ranked team. This will be the fifth time the blue and white will face-off against a team ranked in the top 20.
- The comment section will be used as the open thread for the game tonight. Due to the lack of availability to take-in this game, outside of local radio and stat updates, we could use all the help we can get. Any form of help will be appreciated. Help with play-by-play. Help with siren gifs after PSU goals, etc. I'll be at the game so I won't be able to add much to the conversation in real time.
- Penn State, ranked for the first time, may have a shot at defeating two ranked teams in two days.
- Chances are they'll be some Penguin-State fans in the house for the tournament.