PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Know Your Enemy: No. 18 Penn State Hockey vs. Robert Morris

After a series victory over then-No. 11 Ohio State propelled Penn State men’s hockey back into the national rankings, the No. 18 Nittany Lions will take on Robert Morris this weekend in their final series before the month-long winter break.

The first game of the series will be played at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Friday. The teams then travel to Hockey Valley for game two of the series at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The General

For the second time this season, Penn State will have the opportunity to play a game in an NHL facility. The Nittany Lions played at Gila River Arena, home of the Arizona Coyotes, three weeks ago during their sweep of Arizona State. This weekend, they get a chance to play at PPG Paints Arena, home of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

“It’s awesome,” senior defenseman Trevor Hamilton said of playing in NHL facilities. “I grew up playing in the Detroit Red Wings’ old rink, and playing there was just awesome. Pittsburgh has hosted the Stanley Cup [Final] in each of the past two years, so it will be a very special experience.”

As for the Nittany Lions’ opponent, Robert Morris enters this weekend’s series with a 5-9-1 record. The past three series have seen the Colonials sandwich a sweep of AIC between two-loss weekends against RIT and Bentley. All but two of Robert Morris’ games have been in conference play; those two non-conference games were losses to Ohio State on October 27and 28.

The root of the Colonials’ struggles appears to be their defense. Robert Morris has allowed an average of 3.3 goals per game, which ranks 45th out of 60 teams in Division I hockey. Goaltender Francis Marrotte has started 12 of 15 games so far this year, posting a respectable .911 save percentage and a 2.76 goals-against average.

On the blue line, defensemen Alex Bontje and Sean Giles platooned as the Colonials’ top pairing last weekend against Bentley. Most of the offensive production from the back end has come from junior Eric Israel, who leads all defensemen with a goal and five assists so far this season.

Up front, the team’s top six forwards have all posted strong seasons, but the lack of depth production from the bottom two forward lines has hurt the team. Michael Louria leads the team in scoring with 16 points and Luke Lynch’s nine goals is the most on the team, but no healthy forward outside of the top two lines has scored more than five points so far this season.

Sophomore forward Matthew Graham started the season well with seven points in nine games, but is currently injured and did not play last weekend. His return to the lineup would certainly help RMU’s middle-of-the-pack offense, which ranks No. 36 in the nation with 2.7 goals per game.

Zeroing In

On paper, the Colonials don’t look spectacular, but they don’t look awful, either. Robert Morris is the definition of average in almost every category (except the defense, which, as mentioned above, has struggled).

That said, Penn State has to watch its discipline this weekend; the Colonials’ power play is operating at a solid 21 percent rate, good for 20th in the nation. Last weekend, the Nittany Lions took eight penalties against Ohio State and allowed one power play goal, so the team’s discipline can be worked on.

One stat that will have Guy Gadowsky’s team chomping at the bit is the Colonials’ away record. Robert Morris has posted a brutal 1-7-0 record away from home and is not playing at Colonials Arena this weekend. Sure, PPG Paints Arena is in the Colonials’ home town of Pittsburgh, but it’s clear they have had trouble adjusting to unfamiliar environments throughout the season.

Last Meeting

Penn State last took on Robert Morris at PPG Paints Arena during the 2015-16 season, losing 6-4 on December 28. Historically, the Nittany Lions are 2-4-0 against the Colonials, including a 1-3-0 record in games played at PPG Paints Arena.


The Nittany Lions’ current momentum coming off of a big series victory over Ohio State is impossible to ignore; give me a Nittany Lion sweep with final scores of 5-2 on Friday in the ‘Burgh and 4-1 on Saturday at Pegula.

About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

Mikey is a junior majoring in journalism and Onward State's Assistant Sports Editor. He is from Bedminster, NJ and is extremely obnoxious about all the best things his home state has to offer, including the music of Bruce Springsteen and the best diners in the world. If you're dying to see more hockey content on your timeline, you can follow Mikey on Twitter @mikey_mandarino. Send all hate mail/death threats to [email protected]


More by Mikey

Saquon Barkley Signs First NFL Contract

Barkley signed a four-year, fully guaranteed $31.2 million contract on the same day he reported to his first NFL training camp.

Saquon Barkley Ranks No. 4 In NFL Merchandise Sales

Former Penn State Tailback Andre Robinson Transfers To Delaware


Longtime Lady Lions Coach Rene Portland Dies Of Cancer

Portland brought Penn State women’s basketball to national prominence during her 27-year coaching tenure.

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

‘Rathskeller’ Name Subject Of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The complaint cites that the business has been sold throughout the years and is not tied to that specific location.

Finance Committee Recommends Tuition Freeze For In-State Undergraduate Students

If it is approved by a full-Board vote Friday, the committee’s budget plan will freeze in-state undergraduate tuition for the first time since 2015.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

A banner raising ceremony will commemorate the achievement prior to the team’s season opener on November 9 against North Florida.

Send this to a friend