Colonials to Take On Minnesota
For the first time in the ten-year history of the Robert Morris University men's ice hockey program, the Colonials are bound for the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament. Today, the team learned that they were placed in the West Regional and will take on Minnesota at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. set for March 29-30.
The contest between Robert Morris (19-17-5, 13-9-5 AHA) and Minnesota (25-6-6, 14-3-3 AHA) will be the first game of the regional at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 29; the game will be broadcast live on ESPN 2.
"It's a great challenge, Minnesota has a storied hockey tradition," head coach Derek Schooley said. "They've got a great fan base, a great following and it's going to be an unbelievable environment for our student-athletes."
The Colonials enter the tournament as the lowest seed going up against the top-seeded Gophers after winning the Atlantic Hockey Tournament to secure the league's automatic berth into the field of sixteen. When the two teams take to the ice on Saturday, it will be the first-ever meeting of the two programs.
RMU is led offensively by Cody Wydo (Southgate, Mich. / Motor City Metal Jackets) who has rewritten the record books as a junior. Wydo has 30 goals and 22 assists for 52 points in 41 games played. In the AHA Playoffs, Wydo amassed seven goals and five assists for twelve points en route to being named to the All-Tournament Team and the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Freshman goaltender Dalton Izyk (Oswego, N.Y. / Indiana Ice) earned a spot on the All-Tournament team after going 5-0-0 with a 2.06 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage. Izyk played in only five games during the regular season – starting just two of them – with a record of 0-1-0 and a 3.88 goals-against average to go with a .885 save percentage.
"These are lifetime memories and I'm so happy for our guys," said Schooley who orchestrated the team's turnaround from a 2-12-2 record in 2013 to becoming AHA Champions. "This is all about the players and how hard they played in the second half and how much they believed in what we've set out to accomplish."
The other regional semifinal will be St. Cloud State and Notre Dame with the two winners then facing off on Sunday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. for a trip to the NCAA Men's Frozen Four in Philadelphia.