The first-place Colonials will seek to expand their Atlantic Hockey Conference lead this weekend, as they complete a five-game homestand with a two-game series against league foe American International. Last weekend at 84 Lumber Arena, RMU allowed only one goal in two games to third-place Bentley, but had to settle for a split. The Colonials won 3-0 on Friday night before falling 1-0 on Saturday.
The first 300 fans at Friday’s game will receive a RoMo bobblehead presented by Trib Total Media, while Saturday is Military Appreciation Night. All active and retired military personnel get in free with the presentation of a valid ID, as the Colonials team up with the It’s About The Warrior Foundation to honor the folks who sacrifice for our country. As part of the festivities, RMU will sport camouflage uniforms.
ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS
– Since winning four in a row from Nov. 22 through Dec. 13, RMU hasn’t been able to string together back-to-back victories. The Colonials are 2-4-1 over that stretch, including a home split against Bentley last weekend.
– On the other hand, Robert Morris hasn’t dropped consecutive games all season, a large factor in its success. The Colonials are 2-0-2 this season following a defeat, a promising record that will be tested Friday night.
– Sophomore goalie Dalton Izyk earned his third AHC Goalie of the Week prize after posting a 34-save shutout against Bentley last Friday. Izyk, who was league Goalie of the Month in October, has blanked three teams this season.
– Last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Bentley marked the first time since Feb. 25, 2012 that RMU was shut out at 84 Lumber Arena. The Colonials had scored at least one goal in 50 consecutive contests on the Island.
– The Colonials erupted for 11 goals while going 1-0-1 at American International in late November. The line of David Friedmann, Brady Ferguson and Daniel Leavens combined for 11 points (6g, 5a) on that Massachusetts road trip.
– FUN FACT: Saturday was the first time this season that the Colonials have pulled their goalie for an extra attacker at the end of a game. Counting delayed penalty situations, the RMU net has been empty for a total of 1 minute and 43 seconds through 22 games.
SCOUTING AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL
– Since sweeping Niagara in early November, the Yellow Jackets have won only one of their past 15 games (1-10-4). They rallied for a dramatic 3-3 tie last Friday at RIT, but fell 3-2 to the Tigers in the Saturday rematch.
– American International has struggled in several statistical categories. The Jackets are last among 59 Division I teams in shots allowed per game (39.6) and faceoff percentage (40.3), second-to-last in shots on goal (23.6) and near the bottom in goals allowed (3.91, 56th).
– Despite all that, opponents need to be aware when sophomore Austin Orszulak and senior Alexander MacMillan are on the ice. They each have 22 points, tied for the sixth most in Atlantic Hockey. Orszulak’s 15 goals have him in a deadlock with Union’s Daniel Ciampini for the most in the nation.
– Freshman goalie Alex Murray has done high-quality work for 31st-year head coach Gary Wright. Murray maintains a .912 save percentage despite having faced an average of 34.7 shots in his first 15 collegiate starts.
– The Yellow Jackets were buzzing in the opening game of their home series against RMU, reaching a season high for goals in a 5-5 tie on Nov. 22. MacMillan (2g, 1a) and defenseman Andrew Debrincat (3a) had three points each, as the Colonials rallied from a two-goal third-period deficit.
COLONIALS IN THE MEDIA
Friday Recap: RMU explodes late to earn thrilling shutout win
Saturday Recap: Defensive dominance not enough to earn sweep
Radio Highlights: Steve Kolbe’s calls from win over Bentley
Pittsburgh Sporting News: Leavens piles up points & hardware for RMU
Along the Boards: Colonials stay at No. 1 in AHC power rankings
USCHO.com: Robert Morris leads group of five at top of league standings
USCHO.com: Latest edition of Bracketology has Colonials headed west
Embracing the Block: After chasing Harvard all season for the NCAA lead in blocked shots per game, the Colonials finally took the top spot after its recent series against Bentley. Robert Morris averages an incredible 18.1 blocks per outing, improving from 16.3 last season, when it finished sixth in Division I in that category.
Kudos from Atlantic Hockey: The Colonials have not only succeeded on a team-wide basis this season, they’ve also earned several individual honors. On top of Cody Wydo and Izyk each earning Atlantic Hockey monthly awards in October, Leavens won player of the month for December. RMU has claimed 10 AHC player of the week honors as of Jan. 11, with Izyk (three), Friedmann (two) and Terry Shafer (two) winning multiple awards each.
#CodyForHobey: After a program-record 31-goal, 54-point junior year, Wydo has paced RMU’s attack once again. The Michigan native, who entered his senior season as the active Division I leader in goals, has 26 points (11g, 15a) in his first 22 games, ranking in the top five nationally. Fan voting for the 2015 Hobey Baker Award is open; click here to vote once per day.