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Dec. 24, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's hockey team will return to action for the first time in nearly three weeks when it faces off against Robert Morris at the Three Rivers Classic at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center Friday, Dec. 27. Opening faceoff between the Nittany Lions (3-9-1) and Colonials (2-10-2) is set for 7:35 p.m.
#AskSkoff DURING TWITTER TAKEOVER
Sophomore goaltender and Pittsburgh-area native Matthew Skoff will take over the Penn State Men's Hockey Twitter account (@PennStateMHKY) Thursday, Dec. 26 and answer your questions during the team's bus ride down to Pittsburgh. The Twitter Takeover will begin at 2 p.m. Make sure to Tweet your questions to @PennStateMHKY and use the hashtag #AskSkoff.
THE THREE RIVERS CLASSIC
The Nittany Lions will open the Three Rivers Classic against Robert Morris for the second straight year. The winner of the Penn State-Robert Morris matchup will face off against the winner of the Boston College-Bowling Green game Saturday at 7:35 p.m. The consolation game is set for a 4:35 p.m. faceoff.
The Three Rivers Classic is being held for the second consecutive season and has featured Penn State and Robert Morris in both editions. The in-state rivals will open the showcase against each other for the second straight year. Miami and Ohio State also competed in the tournament in 2012, with Robert Morris winning the inaugural crown.
TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THREE RIVERS CLASSIC
Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com (use code "LION" to sit in the Penn State section) and at the CONSOL Energy Center Box Office. The box office, which is located through the Trib Total Media Gate at the corner of Centre Avenue and Washington Place, is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are available in one- or two-day packages.
ON THE AIR
Both games will be audio streamed on GoPSUsports.com and will broadcast live on the Penn State Sports Network.
LAST YEAR AT CONSOL ENERGY CENTER
The Nittany Lions fell to Robert Morris, 6-0, in the showcase opener before rebounding with a 5-4 victory against Ohio State in the consolation game. The win was the first for Penn State against a future Big Ten opponent. More than 22,000 fans watched Penn State during the two-day tournament, while 11,000 fans saw the Nittany Lions' victory against Ohio State.
Sophomore forward Casey Bailey led Penn State with a career-high four points against the Buckeyes, while Max Gardiner (3a), Taylor Holstrom (2g) and Luke Juha (2a) notched multi-point games. Matthew Skoff turned aside 36 shots for the victory.
McKees Rocks native Matthew Skoff will return to Pittsburgh for the second time in 2013-14. The netminder stopped a career-high 48 shots in a 5-4 win at Robert Morris Nov. 1. Skoff, who also started PSU's win vs. Ohio State last season, is 2-0-0 with a .913 save percentage in his two starts in Pittsburgh.
HOT HANDS IN WINTER
In December, defenseman Luke Juha and forward Eric Scheid are tied for the Big Ten lead with three power-play points. Scheid's four points (2g, 2a) also place him in a tie for fifth place among conference leaders.
SACRIFICING THE BODY
Junior defenseman Patrick Koudys leads the Big Ten with 33 blocked shots. The Smithville, Ont., native averages 2.54 blocks per game.
PLAYING THEM TIGHT
Penn State is tied for 12th in the country with six one-goal games (2-4-0). The Nittany Lions have played in four one-goal contests - all to ranked opponents - during their current six-game losing streak. Alaska, Bowling Green and Clarkson are tied for the nation's lead with 10 one-goal games.
JUHA AMONG NATION'S BEST
Sophomore Luke Juha is tied for the NCAA lead among blueliners with four power-play goals. The Nittany Lions are 2-2-0 when he scores a goal.
THE DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Penn State, which scored 12 power-play goals in 2012-13 and ranked 59th in the country, already boasts 11 extra-man goals in 2013-14. The Nittany Lions have scored at least one power-play goal in four of the last five games. After not scoring more than one PPG in a game in 2012-13, Penn State netted three power-play goals at Robert Morris Nov. 1 and a pair of extra-man tallies vs. Union Dec. 1.
LIONS AMONG B1G LEADERS
Forward Eric Scheid is tied for sixth among Big Ten skaters with seven goals and six power-play points. Defenseman Luke Juha is tied for first among defensemen in power-play points (7) and is tied for second among all skaters in PPGs (4).
FRESHMEN MAKING IMPACT
David Goodwin (3-5--8) and Ricky DeRosa (3-4--7) are tied for sixth and 10th, respectively, among Big Ten rookies in points. The pair rank third and fourth, respectively, on the team behind Scheid and Juha.
The Nittany Lions will play either No. 7/6 Boston College or Bowling Green Saturday, Dec. 28. The Three Rivers Classic championship game is set for 7:35 p.m., while the consolation game is at 4:35 p.m.