It was a star-spangled affair at 84 Lumber Arena Saturday night. Robert Morris' special camouflage jerseys made their debut, and military personnel dotted the packed crowd of 1,079 for the Colonials' first Military Appreciation Night.
Lance Cpl. Collin Wydo, younger brother of Robert Morris junior winger Cody Wydo, dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening faceoff. And then little brother sat back as Cody tallied two assists, stretching his point streak to seven games, and the Colonials marched to a 5-0 victory against Niagara (10-16-4, 10-8-4 Atlantic Hockey).
"It wasn't the prettiest win," Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley said, "but you don't ask for style points this time of year. You ask for results.
"We did what we have to do at this time of year: just get a win."
Robert Morris (12-14-4, 12-7-4) showed no signs of frustration after having allowed three unanswered third-period goals in a 5-2 loss against the Purple Eagles in Niagara, N.Y., Thursday. That defeat snapped the Colonials' school-record nine-game unbeaten streak.
"You're not going to win every game," Schooley said. "When you've got a little streak going, you wonder when it's going to happen. And we had to learn a lesson. We didn't come out with our 'A' game."
Robert Morris' top forward line of Wydo, junior Scott Jacklin and sophomore Zac Lynch -- the Colonials' top three scorers -- had scored 13 goals in the previous five games before being kept off the scoreboard Thursday.
That line struck quickly Saturday. Just two minutes into the first period, Jacklin took a feed from Wydo in the slot and rifled a shot over Niagara goaltender Jackson Teichroeb's shoulder for Jacklin's 10th goal this season.
Midway through the second, Lynch pushed the lead to 2-0, muscling a shot through Teichroeb's padding for his 15th.
"They were flying," Schooley said of the first line.
Colonials sophomore goaltender Terry Shafer, named Atlantic Hockey goaltender of the week the past two weeks, made 39 saves in his second shutout this season. He spent the past two days with a "lower-body injury," he said, and didn't know until game time whether he'd be able to start.
"I thought Terry Shafer was outstanding," Schooley said. "He made every save look easy."
"He was unreal," Jacklin added.
Robert Morris buried the visiting Purple Eagles with a four-on-four goal from senior forward Colin South late in the second and two more tallies from sophomore forwards Brandon Denham and David Friedmann early in the third.
The Colonials' game-worn commemorative jerseys were auctioned off during the game, with the proceeds going to the Robert Morris Veterans Emergency Fund.
NOTE -- Wydo collided with Teichroeb late in the third period and spent the remainder of the game getting his leg looked at on the bench. Schooley said he didn't know the extent of the injury, but he'd been given the indication it appeared "minor."
Stephen J. Nesbitt: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt. First Published February 15, 2014 10:05 PM