Robert Morris University right wing JEFF JONES (11), the junior Canadian import from Revelstoke, British Columbia, attempts to halt the progress of the Pennsylvania State University assistant captain NATE JENSEN (24), the redshirt junior defenseman from Shorewood, Minnesota, behind the net during the 2nd Annual Three Rivers Classic confrontation of intra-state rivals at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
The Nittany Lions fell behind twice despite overwhelmingly outshooting their Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adversaries by the amazing margin of 62-28 over the course of the evening and were also agonizingly forced to wait until only 100 seconds remained in regulation play, itself, for a dramatic game-winner but, indeed, PENN STATE scored an important 3-2 triumph over stubborn ROBERT MORRIS to reach the Final of the 2nd annual THREE RIVERS CLASSIC in Pittsburgh.
The unruly Colonials, who conquered the Nittany Lions 6-0 at the inaugural Three Rivers Classic twelve months ago, jumped out in front early in the second period on the power play after Nittany Lions Killer CORY WYDO, the junior right wing from Allen Park, Michigan, who had scored six goals in his last two games against Penn State coming into the 2013 Three Rivers Classic, won a face-off cleanly and Canadian legionnaire TYSON WILSON, the redshirt sophomore rearguard from Brockville, Ontraio, found the back of the net with a first-time shot that negotiated its way through both heavy traffic as well as Penn State goaltender MATTHEW SKOFF.
Penn State were able to equalize with a power play of its own, however, roughly six minutes later when defenseman NATE JENSEN wristed a blue line shot that also found its way through a maze of bodies to score his second goal of this season. It was, of course, the redshirt junior rearguard from the Land of 10,000 Lakes who had tallied the Nittany Lions’ very first goal ever scored at the newly-constructed Pegula Ice Arena in State College. Solid forechecking work in the offensive zone by Penn State Canadian legionnaire CURTIS LOIK, the sophomore left wing from West Vancouver, British Columbia, paved the way for Jensen’s strike.
Penn State left wing CASEY BAILEY (25), the snake-bit sophomore from Anchorage, Alaska, who topped the fledling Nittany Lions last term with 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 27 NCAA games but has found the back of the net just one single time so far this season, is denied by in-form Robert Morris shot-stopper TERRY SHAFER during the Three Rivers Classic contest at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Penn State were nearing fifty shots on target for the game as the second intermission rapidly approached but it was Robert Morris Canadian legionnaire DAVID FRIEDMANN, the sophomore center from Toronto, Ontario, who gave the undaunted Colonials their second lead of the evening with just 1:21 remaining in the second period.
The Nittany Lions, however, remained patient and continued to throw pucks at Colonials netminder TERRY SHAFER from all sorts of angles, even ones which offered low percentages, at every conceivable opportuity. A power play chance nearing the halfway point of the third period finally provided Penn State the chance to level the terms of this intra-state affair. Nittany Lions captain TOMMY OLCZYK got the puck from center RICKY DEROSA, the homegrown freshman from Aston who was not even a regular in the line-up for head coach GUY GADOWSKY at the beginning of this 2013/14 campaign, and had his initial shot saved by Shafer but the resulting rebound gave Penn State a 2-2 draw and the junior from Long Grove, Illinois, a career-high fourth goal on the season.
The contest seemed to be heading for overtime but then the Penn State policy of continuously throwing pucks at the net suddenly paid a huge dividend in the form of a lucky break with regulation time running very low. Veteran center TAYLOR HOLSTROM, the redshirt junior from Yorba Linda, California, who was the fourth-leading scorer with 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) for the Nittany Lions last season, had his shot from the high slot fatefully blocked by Robert Morris freshman defenseman JOHN REY but the puck slid fortuitously right to Penn State sharpshooter ERIC SCHEID in the right face-off circle. With plenty of the net showing, the redshirt sophomore from Blaine, Minnesota, had no trouble scoring his team-leading eighth goal of this term and booking the Nittany Lions’ place in the 2013 Three Rivers Classic Final.
Penn State right wing ERIC SCHEID (19), the redshirt sophomore who totaled six goals in 30 NCAA games for the University of Alaska – Anchorage as a freshman two years ago and spent last season skating for the Lincoln Stars in the United States Hockey League, has a shot on Robert Morris netminder TERRY SHAFER (1) during the 2013 Three Rivers Classic encounter at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
December 27, 2013
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance : 8,533
PENN STATE 3 – ROBERT MORRIS 2
22:50 … RMU – Wilson (Wydo) – ppg
28:58 … PSU – Jensen (Glen, Loik) – ppg
38:39 … RMU – Friedmann (Denham, Moore)
49:14 … PSU – Olczyk (DeRosa, Thompson) – ppg
58:20 … PSU – Scheid (Holstrom, Koudys)
shots-on-goal : PSU 62 (19 + 27 + 16) – RMU 28 (10 + 11 + 7)
penalty minutes : RMU 12 – PSU 8
PENN STATE : Skoff – Juha, Williamson ; Koudys, Thompson ; Jensen, Varley – Goodwin, Holstrom, Scheid ; Olczyk, DeRosa, Saar ; Loik, Glen, Brooks ; Bailey, Richard, Milley
ROBERT MORRIS : Shafer – Moore, Blazek ; Renwick, Golightly ; Wilson, Rey – South, Lynch, Wydo ; Cope, Jacklin, Jones ; Gibson, Friedmann, Denham ; Roy, Rigatti, Robillard