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GAME DAY CENTRAL
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INSIDE THE NUMBERS
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The 18th-ranked Penn State men’s ice hockey team will close out its first semester of play this weekend with a home-and-home series against Keystone State rival Robert Morris on Friday and Saturday evening.
Friday’s contest will be played at the home of the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, PPG Paints Arena at 7:05 p.m. while Saturday’s game will be inside the friendly confines of Pegula Ice Arena with a 7 p.m. puck drop.
TEDDY BEAR TOSS
- On Saturday we will host our annual Teddy Bear Toss to benefit THON and other philanthropies for children in need.
- Everyone attending is encouraged to bring a new or lightly used bear to toss on the ice during the second intermission.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHUP
- Penn State plays a home-and-home against the Robert Morris Colonials with a game at PPG Paints Arena on Friday night before they conclude the series at Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday.
- Saturday marks Robert Morris’ first-ever trip to Pegula Ice Arena and just the second matchup between the two schools in Happy Valley. The first was a 3-2 victory for the Colonials at Greenberg Ice Pavilion in 2012.
- RMU holds the 4-2-0 advantage in the all-time series including a 3-1-0 record at PPG Paints Arena (Formerly CONSOL Energy Center) and are outscoring the Nittany Lions 22-16 overall and 18-9 at PPG.
- Penn State has an all-time record of 3-5-0 at PPG Paints Arena (Formerly CONSOL Energy Center) as they played in four-straight Three Rivers Classic’s from 2012-2015.
SCOUTING ROBERT MORRIS
- Robert Morris enters the weekend with a 5-9-1 overall record and a 5-7-1 record in the Atlantic Hockey Conference after finishing last season 22-12-4 overall and 15-10-3 in the conference eventually losing 2-1 against Air Force in the Atlantic Hockey Championship.
- RMU lost just two of their 11 players who registered double-digit points last year in second leading scorer Daniel Leavens (14-35-49) and Rob Mann (3-8-11).
- Bobby Mo returns leading scorer Brady Ferguson who scored 24 goals while adding 34 assists for 58 points. Alex Tonge is also back after having a 20-goal season and Timmy Moore who added 15 goals.
- Michael Louria leads the team this year after transferring from UMass-Lowell with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points. Luke Lynch leads the team in goals with nine and has added six assists for 15 points.
- Ferguson is third on the team in scoring with six goals and eight assists for 14 points with all six of his goals coming on special teams, five power-play tallies and one shorthanded marker.
- Between the pipes is Francis Marotte who once again assumes the starting role with 12 starts on the year and a 5-6-1 record with a .911 save percentage and a 2.76 goals against average.
- RMU ranks 47th in the nation on the PK at just 78.1 percent (50-for-64) while their power-play unit has fared a little better at 20.7 percent (17-for-82) to rank 20th. The Colonials 17 PPG’s and attempts rank tied for sixth nationally.
- Robert Morris was swept last weekend by Bentley after sweeping American International the weekend before and are just 3-7-1 over their last 11 games.
- Bobby Mo is just 1-7-0 on the road while going 4-2-1 at home so far this season.
- For the first-time in program history Penn State scored an extra attacker goal in the final minute of a game to tie the contest in back-to-back games.
- Junior Andrew Sturtz fired home the tying tally with just 0.7 seconds on the clock during a 5-5 tie at No. 11 Ohio State last Friday in Columbus just six days after senior Trevor Hamilton did the same vs. Michigan State with just 33.6 seconds left in regulation for a 2-2 tie.
- Both games advanced to shootouts with Penn State defeating Ohio State 1-0, but falling to Michigan State 2-1. Sturtz is 2-for-2 in shootouts so far this season as the only Nittany Lion to light the lamp.
- The Nittany Lions are currently riding the nation’s third longest active unbeaten streak of six games (4-0-2) where they are outscoring their opponents 29-11 including a pair of seven-goal outbursts and a pair of shutouts.
- During the current unbeaten streak Penn State ranks second nationally in goals per game averaging 4.83 while ranking seventh in goals against allowing just 1.83 per contest.
- Penn State is also averaging the most shots on goal (41.67) during the streak and have the 5th best penalty kill at 95 percent (19-for-20) over the last three weeks.
JONESIN’ FOR A GOOD TIME
- Sophomore goaltender Peyton Jones has found his grove over his last five starts and boasts a 1.39 goals against average and a .949 save percentage during that span, good for third in the nation in each category. Jones is 3-1-1 in his last five starts with the only loss being a 1-0 shutout against No. 6 Notre Dame.
- With 31 career victories Jones is also just one win shy of tying Matthew Skoff for first on the Penn State all-time wins list at 32.
- With just 17 more saves Jones will also move into second place on the all-time Penn State saves list passing Eamon McAdam (1,256) and sitting only behind Skoff.
WON’T YOU TAKE ME TO FUNKEYTOWN?
- Talk about it, in his last two starts junior Chris Funkey has gone 1-0-1 with a 2.43 goals against average and a .921 save percentage.
- He secured his second career shutout three weeks ago at Arizona State (7-0) and this past weekend stopped a career-high 43 shots during a 5-5 tie at No. 11 Ohio State.
- Then, when the team needed him most, Funkey stepped up in the shootout stopping all three Buckeyes to secure the extra point for Penn State.
- Penn State is currently leading the nation in a number of key offensive categories including shots on goal per game (41.06), goals (70), assists (121) and points (191).
- After a rather slow start to the season the offense is averaging 3.89 goals per game, which leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the nation.
HAM - BERGER
- Senior Trevor Hamilton is coming off a four-point weekend against Ohio State and is riding a season-long four-game point-streak (2-4-6).
- The senior ranks second on the team in points with 16 while leading the team with 13 assists to rank tenth and fifth in the Big Ten, respectively. His 13 assists lead all Big Ten defensemen while his 16 points are second in the conference for blue-liners. Both totals rank fourth and third, respectively, in the nation.
- With his four-point weekend Hamilton has moved into fourth on the Penn State all-time points list for defensemen with 42 while his 33 assists place him tied for fourth on the all-time defenseman assist list with current teammate Kevin Kerr. Hamilton’s nine goals also rank fourth all-time by Penn State d-men.
- Hamilton is averaging 0.58 assists per game for his career, which is the best ratio in program history for all skaters while his 0.74 points per game ranks first all-time among Penn State defensemen.
- Junior Chase Berger collected his 12th assist of the season last Friday night giving him 77 career points as he moves into a tie for fourth on the Penn State all-time points list with Eric Scheid ‘16 and Dylan Richard ‘17.
- The junior ranks second all-time in program history with 48 assists chasing the 84 of David Goodwin ‘17 while his 29 goals tie him for sixth all-time with David Glen ‘16.
- Berger’s nine power-play tallies rank fourth in Penn State history just one shy of Goodwin for third and four behind Casey Bailey’s program record of 13.
- During Penn State’s six-game unbeaten streak, sophomore Brandon Biro leads the team with nine points off three goals and six assists. His nine points over the last three weeks tie for the Big Ten lead and rank tied for third in the entire nation during that stretch.
- The sophomore ranks tied for third on the team with his 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) on the year, which is good for tied 13th in the Big Ten.
BAR DOWN, HANDS UP
- Sophomore sensation Denis Smirnov returned from a month-long illness last week and got right back to his scoring ways as he went bar-down over the blocker on the power-play early in the second period on Saturday night to give Penn State a 2-0 lead at the time.
- Smirnov now has six goals and six assists for 12 points in just 10 games this season to rank tied for fifth on the team in scoring.
- In just 49 career games, Smirnov already ranks tenth on the Penn State all-time points list with 59, just one shy of Luke Juha ‘16 for ninth. Smirnov is also tied for ninth on the all-time goals list at 25 with Curtis Loik ‘16, just two back of Tommy Olczyk ‘16 for eighth.
DO THE DREW
- Junior Andrew Sturtz is already the program’s all-time leading goal scoring as he notched number 49 and 50 of his career this past weekend at Ohio State.
- Sturtz’ 10 goals lead the Big Ten and rank tied for ninth in the country while his 22 points are second in the conference and tied for third in the nation.
- As phenomenal a scorer he is this season Sturtz is also second on the team in assists with 12 to rank tied for sixth in the Big Ten. Sturtz only had nine assists as a freshman and 15 last season, but didn’t register his 12th assist until the last series of the year at Michigan, his 33 game of the season.
- Sturtz has gotten even better in conference play this season as he leads the team and ranks tied for third in the Big Ten with 12 points in league games while his seven goals rank second in Big Ten contests.
- Penn State plays a home and home with Robert Morris traveling to PPG Paints Arena next Friday and returning to Pegula Ice Arena on Saturday to close out the series. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. puck drops.