PSU holds on for win

NCAA HOCKEY

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If the Robert Morris and Penn State hockey teams didn't develop a rivalry in their two meetings last season, they certainly did Friday night.

The Nittany Lions (2-3-1) knocked off the winless Colonials, 5-4, at a sold-out 84 Lumber Arena in a wild back-and-forth game.

Robert Morris junior Cody Wydo scored all four goals for the Colonials (0-5-1), including one on a penalty shot. His fourth goal of the game came in the waning seconds, but it was not enough for the Colonials, who still are searching for an elusive first win this season after a school-record 20 wins last season.

The Nittany Lions, playing their first season in the Big Ten hockey conference, got a remarkable 48 saves from goalie Matthew Skoff, in a homecoming of sorts. He grew up in nearby McKees Rocks and played in the building for the Montour Spartans and Pittsburgh Hornets.

"I think this game just shows the rivalry," said Skoff. "Tonight, we showed great resilience. We picked it up, they started to pick it up. You could say this has turned into a bit of a rivalry."

After a dominating first period by the Colonials, Penn State scored three second-period goals to take a 3-1 lead.

"The second periods are killing us," said Wydo. "These past two weeks we've been outscored, 10-1, in the second period. We keep getting behind. So we've got to go harder in the second and play the third how we've been and go from there."

Penn State went 3 for 7 on the power play; Robert Morris 1 for 6.

"We play in spurts right now," said Colonials coach Derek Schooley. "I thought we were awesome in the first, then we take some time off, they put the puck in the net. It kind of frustrates us ... then we come back and tie the game. Right now, our main issues are our focus for 60 minutes and our inability to stay out of the penalty box."

Penn State's three-goal run in the second period started when Eric Scheid scored off the rush at 2:01. Then, Luke Juha knocked a power-play goal through a screen at 8:44.

Tommy Olczyk capped the spree, taking a feed in the slot with his foot then beating goalie Terry Shafer with a shot.

Wydo struck for the second time at 18:12, finishing with a tip-in at the doorstep after a cross-ice pass from Ben Robillard.

Wydo's third goal -- the penalty shot -- came in the third period after he was hauled down on a breakaway. He shot to Skoff's stick side right along the ice and beat the goalie cleanly.

Penn State's winning goal came just 2:01 later when Casey Bailey scored on a rebound during a power play.

The Lions got a fifth at 18:07 of the third, when Mike Williamson scored on a power play, and Wydo scored his fourth with 12 seconds left.

"I'd say this has become a pretty good rivalry," said Wydo. "We play them again down at Consol [later in the season.] Hopefully, we'll have good fans there again and have another good game."

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NOTE -- The Robert Morris women's hockey team (8-2, 2-0 CHA) won its fifth consecutive game, shutting out Penn State (2-7-1, 0-2-0 CHA), 6-0 for its fifth win in a row.

Jenn Menendez: jmenendez@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1959 and Twitter @JennMenendez.


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