The Robert Morris Colonials went through the entire month of October with a low numeral in the win column. Zero to be exact. That digit turned into a one on Friday night, as RMU bested the Canisius Golden Griffins by a 6-1 final at the 84 Lumber Arena.
Cody Wydo did what he does best once again, putting three pucks behind an opposing goaltender for the second time in as many games. Greg Gibson, Zac Lynch and Brandon Denham also found the netting for the Colonials in a physical affair.
"That just shows that we can be a pretty good team when we play a complete hockey game," said head coach Derek Schooley. "We did a good job of keeping the lead and extending the lead."
Gibson got the Colonials on the board just 1:44 into the contest, beating Canisius goaltender Tony Capobianco short side for his second on the campaign. Doug Jessey countered for the Golden Griffins with a seeing-eye shot through traffic on the powerplay that eluded RMU's Terry Shafer for the tally.
Wydo then went to work. The junior forward recorded his 7th of the year on the man advantage, with a tap-in rebound on the doorstep. What he lacked in style on the first marker, he more than made up for less than four minutes later. With a defender on his back, Wydo skated down the left side and went forehand to backhand at the top of the crease, roofing his second of the evening under the bar for a 3-1 Robert Morris lead.
Wydo then capped off the hat trick in the middle frame. The Southgate, Michigan native again found the loose puck in the blue paint on the powerplay to put the Colonials up by three. The trick was of the natural variety, the first of its kind in RMU program history.
"My chances are coming to me," said Wydo. "I'm just putting them in the back of the net. It feels good."
"It's a bad habit (for Cody Wydo) to have, scoring goals," said Schooley, smirking.
Unlike in recent outings, RMU made it through the second period unscathed, with Shafer stopping all 12 biscuits that came his way. The Colonials held a 25-15 advantage in shots through two.
"We went into the second having to kill off a penalty there, and I'd be lying if I didn't say you think about going into the second period when it's been such a rough period all year," said Shafer. "That was part of getting the monkey off our back."
"We worked on our focus all week long," said Schooley. "We challenged our guys a little bit through our focus and what we want to do. Kudos to our guys for focusing for 60 (minutes)."
Sophomore forward and Pittsburgh native Zac Lynch extended the Robert Morris lead to 5-1 in the third frame, as he pushed the puck over the line in the crease for his second of the year. Brandon Denham added another for good measure late in the period.
"We're going to enjoy this one, at least until tomorrow," said Schooley. "We want to do our damage in Atlantic Hockey."
They'll have plenty of chances to do just that.
It was just the second Atlantic Hockey Association tilt of the season for the Colonials, and with the exception of the Three Rivers Classic in December, all of their remaining matchups will take place within the AHA.
Robert Morris welcome the RIT Tigers to Neville Island tomorrow night for a 7:05 puck drop to close out the weekend.
Perhaps it was the complete effort from RMU that led to the victory. Or it could've just been the November, or rather Movember facial hair that the team is growing to support men's health awareness. Likely the latter, according to the goaltender.
"I think the moustache is definitely helping out," said Shafer. "Being one of the only guys that can show facial hair after two weeks, you have to take advantage of that."