Series Preview: Penn State vs. Robert Morris
Kyle Cannillo, Josh Starr, Derek Heid and Matt McClure preview this weekend's series between Penn State and Robert Morris:
This weekend, the Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1) will face the Robert Morris Colonials (3-4-1) in a home-and-home series. Friday’s game will be played at Pegula Ice Arena and puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Likewise, Saturday’s game shifts to Pittsburgh and puck drop for that game is scheduled for 7 p.m. as well.
Penn State this season is off to its hottest team start in program history, winning its first six contests, all of which have come at home. Last weekend, Penn State suffered its first loss of the season to Arizona State a 6-5 overtime nailbiter.
Robert Morris, on the other hand, is not off to the start it would like to be. The Colonials come into this matchup much like Penn State, getting a split in last weekend’s series with Niagara University. The Colonials won game one 3-1 and lost game two 4-2.
Currently, Robert Morris, regardless of being home or away has not found much of a spark. At home the Colonials are 3-3-1 and on the road, they are 0-1.
Penn State will hit the road for the first time this year on Saturday, so it’ll be interesting to see how the team adapts to its first contest away from home. However, don’t count out the Colonials as they will for sure be hungry to make this weekend a competitive series. Last year both teams faced off in the same home-and-home format and Penn State swept the series 5-2 and 7-4, respectively.
For Penn State, the offense hasn’t been hard to come by and multiple players have contributed thus far. Through seven games, Alex Limoges is a co-leader in points with ten, as he has five goals and five assists along with a plus-four rating. Likewise, teammate Evan Barratt has three goals and seven assists as the other Nittany Lions' point leader. Barratt is also plus-six on the ice.
Nikita Pavlychev, Nate Sucese, Brandon Biro and Liam Folkes round out Penn State’s top point collectors thus far. For Pavlychev, he has nine points coming via three goals and six assists. Sucese has also collected nine points via three goals and six assists and has been a difference maker on the ice with a plus-nine rating.
Biro and Folkes have eight points apiece via three goals and five assists. On the other hand, Biro has a plus-nine rating while Folkes has a plus-four rating.
For the Colonials, Alex Tonge has six points via two goals and four assists through eight games. However, he has a minus-one rating on the ice thus far. Luke Lynch is second on the team with five points via one goal and four assists with a plus-three on the ice.
Furthermore, The Colonials have five players tied with four points each. Michael Louria has one goal and three assists but has a minus-seven rating on the ice. Next, is Eric Israel, who has four points as well via one goal and three assists. He has seen action in only four games thus far, but he provides a boost as he has a plus-six rating on the ice.
Daniel Mantenuto has played all eight games for the Colonials and has two goals and two assists. Nick Lalonde has also played all eight games and has scored only four points in those games with three goals and one assist.
One interesting storyline is that Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky hasn’t elected to stick with one goalie in any series this season so it will be interesting to see if he continues to rotate Chris Funkey and Peyton Jones again, or if he'll go with just one of them. However, Penn State should sweep the series as the much better all-around team.
Tom Johnston is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Junior / Broadcast Journalism