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November 1, 2013

Wydo nets four, RMU still falls

Cody Wydo's four goals weren't enough for Robert Morris, as the Colonials fell to Penn State by a 5-4 final on Friday in front of 1,352 at the 84 Lumber Arena. RMU remains winless on the year, falling to 0-5-1.

"We play in spurts right now," said RMU head coach Derek Schooley. "Our main issues are our focus and our inability to stay out of the penalty box.

"It's very frustrating, but we still have a long season left. We've been close in every game."

The Colonials were close tonight, thanks to Wydo's stellar offensive play, potting four tallies behind Penn State goaltender and Pittsburgh native, Matthew Skoff.

"It was a good all-around effort for all five guys that were on the ice with me," Wydo said. "Every chance I got I just found a way to get the puck into the net."

Wydo's first marker came on the power-play in the first period. He corralled a rebound in tight to beat Skoff for his fourth on the campaign, giving RMU a 1-0 lead after one. Penn State stormed back in the second, with Eric Scheid, Luke Juha and Tommy Olczyk all finding the twine for the Nittany Lions.

Wydo then recorded his second of the night with less than two minutes remaining in period number two, cutting the PSU lead to one headed into the locker room. Wydo completed the hat trick just 3:09 into the third stanza. The junior forward was awarded a penalty shot after being fouled from behind on a breakaway opportunity. Wydo went low on the stick side of Skoff to knot the contest at three apiece.

Penn State quickly regained the lead, as Casey Bailey beat Terry Shafer on the power-play just two minutes later. Mike Williamson struck with the man advantage for the Nittany Lions with less than two minutes remaining with what proved to be the game-winner.

Wydo found the back of the net once more before the final horn for his fourth of the night. It's the second time that a Colonial skater has scored four times in one evening. Nathan Longpre completed the feat in 2009. Wydo was undoubtedly a bright spot in the loss in the eyes of the bench boss.

"Cody Wydo scores goals," said Schooley. "He's got great hands around the net. He just finds ways to score goals and he's unbelievable that way. Unfortunately, we need other people to go with him as well."

The two goaltenders earned their keep this evening, with Shafer recording 36 stops to Skoff's 48. Robert Morris went 1-for-6 with the man advantage, while three of Penn State's five goals came on the power-play. Although the Colonials are still winless on the year, their lone tie came in conference play against Atlantic Hockey foe Niagara earlier in October. Schooley and company know that the most important contests are ahead of them, as well as victory number one.

"We're three points out of first with a game in hand (in Atlantic Hockey)," said Schooley. "We need to focus, make sure we're here for 60 minutes and to stay out of the penalty box. That's hurting us right now."

"Sooner or later we're going to have to turn it, but you can only turn it though your focus, hard work and discipline. Right now those are some main issues that we have."

Robert Morris will look to resolve those issues next weekend. RMU returns to the 84 Lumber Arena on Friday, November 8th to face Canisius. The RIT Tigers make the trip to the Island one night later. Puck drop is at 7:05 on both occasions.

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