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Pittsburgh, Pa. CONSOL Energy Center Attendance: 8,533
Dec. 27, 2013
PITTSBURGH - Redshirt sophomore forward Eric Scheid (Blaine, Minn.) netted the game-winning goal with 1:40 left in regulation as the Penn State men's hockey team advanced to the Three Rivers Classic championship game with a 3-2 victory against Robert Morris at CONSOL Energy Center Friday night.
Penn State (4-9-1), which won for the first time this season when trailing after two periods, snapped their six-game losing streak with the one-goal victory. With the triumph, the Nittany Lions advanced to the tournament's championship game for the first time and will face their highest ranked opponent in program history when they play No. 7/6 Boston College Saturday (Dec. 28) at 7:35 p.m.
Against the Colonials (2-11-2), Penn State twice erased one-goal deficits before Scheid netted his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Defenseman Nate Jensen (Shorewood, Minn.) and forward Tommy Olczyk (Long Grove, Ill.) each recorded power-play goals in the second and third periods, respectively, while freshman defenseman David Thompson (Glen Mills, Pa.) recorded his first collegiate point with an assist on Olczyk's goal. Sophomore Matthew Skoff (McKees Rocks, Pa.) corralled 26 shots.
The Nittany Lions finished 2-for-5 on the power play as they surpassed their 2012-13 total (12) with the team's 12th and 13th power-play tallies of the season. Penn State also out shot the Colonials by a 62-28 margin, including a program-high 27 attempts in the second stanza. The 62 total shots ranked second in team history (63 shots vs. AIC Oct. 12, 2012), while Robert Morris netminder Terry Shafer made 59 saves.
The Nittany Lions and Colonials played a scoreless first period with Penn State holding a 19-10 advantage in shots. Sophomore Kenny Brooks (Las Vegas, Nev.) led all players with four attempts, including one from the doorstep after a nifty move with 15:34 left in the frame.
At the other end, Skoff smothered all 10 shots he faced in the opening period, including three attempts during Robert Morris' two-man advantage. Both teams garnered a pair of power-play opportunities in the stanza with neither team reaching the back of the net.
In the second period, Robert Morris sandwiched a Nittany Lion strike to take a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. At 2:20, Robert Morris opened the scoring with Tyson Wilson's power-play marker. Cody Wydo cleanly won a faceoff from the left faceoff dot to Wilson at the right point, where he one-timed a shot for the tally.
Jensen evened the score with a power-play marker of his own with 11:02 left in the frame. Sophomore Curtis Loik (North Vancouver, B.C.) disrupted a Robert Morris clearing attempt before classmate David Glen (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.) chipped the puck to Jensen at the blue line. The Shorewood, Minn., native then wristed a shot through traffic for his second goal of the season.
The Colonials skated to a 2-1 advantage with 1:21 left in the frame. Evan Moore's shot from the blue line was blocked in the slot before Brandon Denham moved the puck to David Friedmann for the goal.
Olczyk knotted the game with the Nittany Lions' second power-play marker at 9:14 of the third period. Thompson moved the puck to forward Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.) near the goal line, where he found Olczyk outside the crease. The captain's first attempt was stopped before sending the rebound to the back of the net.
At 18:20 of regulation, Scheid put the Nittany Lions ahead for the first time. Defenseman Patrick Koudys (Smithville, Ont.) moved the puck to forward Taylor Holstrom (Yorba Linda, Calif.), whose shot from the high slot was blocked by a kneeling Robert Morris defenseman. The puck slid directly to Scheid in the right circle, where he shot the puck past Shafer.