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Local Rink City

Welcome to Local Rink City, where we’ll be spreading the gospel of college and youth hockey. Look, I’m biased; I played hockey here and I went to Robert Morris University. I love everything about non-professional hockey because there’s a sense of purity to it. These are kids busting their ass for the love of the game. It’s scrappy, ugly, down and dirty, messy and sometimes downright frustrating and there’s nothing better in the world than that. You’re probably not gonna see the next Crosby or Letang lace up for these teams, but you’re gonna enjoy everything about these teams. First few weeks, I’ll be breaking down a specific team and looking into some of the background on ‘em. After that, you’ll find some write-ups for the couple of D1 hockey teams around us, followed by some headlines from around tawn. If you live be any of these teams and have a few bucks, go support them. They’re cheap tickets for great hockey. We’re going to start with a team near and dear to my heart, the Robert Morris University Colonials.

RMU MEN’S HOCKEY

Conference Record: 4-3-1                  Overall Record: 5-3-2

Last Game: 4-1 Win over Sacred Heart University, Saturday Nov. 12.

Next Game: vs Dartmouth, 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26th

What’s their deal?

There’s two big things synonymous about the RMU Men’s hockey team. Derek Schooley and Hometown Players.

Head Coach Derek Schooley has been with the organization since its debut as a D1 Team in 2006, and before that was an assistant coach with Air Force (one of RMU’s biggest rivals). The closest comparison I can think of to him would be Peter Laviolette, both in attitude and style. Every year tends to be a solid defensive core peppered by some speed and offense. A lot of their scoring chances will come from right in front or the occasional breakaway. Really cannot stress the similarity to Laviolette.

Here’s the cool thing about RMU, they actively try to keep Pittsburgh kids in Pittsburgh. RMU has three kids from Pittsburgh this year (Lynch, Coleman and Dagnal) which is actually a bit lower than usual for Bobby Mo. Schooley knows the area pretty well and knows the importance of keeping that talent in Pittsburgh. Another thing is a TON of players on RMU have previous RMU connections. Lynch, Moore and Ferguson all had siblings who played hockey at RMU, along with assistant coach Brandon Blandina who played under Schooley. I can’t stress how much this has helped build RMU into what it is today.

Are they good?           

Looking at their record in the past few years, RMU has had a decent amount of success. They were the AHA champs in 2013-2014 and gained a bid into the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey tournament (lost in the first round). The year after, they lost in the semifinal and last year they were runners-up to RIT in the championship. They’re a damn good team with damn good coaching. There’s a reason why teams who are nationally ranked tend to be cautious with RMU. From #1 Miami of Ohio in 2009 to #11 Ohio State this year, Schooley’s squad has a knack for knocking off nationally ranked teams.

They won’t light the world on fire, but they are a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Who to watch:

Alex Tonge and Luke Lynch. Tonge has a point a game right now and is playing light’s out. Beyond being a point a game player, Tonge notched 3 assists in a 4-1 win over Sacred Heart Saturday Night. For a sophomore, that’s a good sign of things to come. Lynch, who is a freshman, is making a name for himself with two stellar shorthand goals (penalty shot and breakaway) against #11 Ohio State from last week.

Wrestler Comparison:

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Randy Orton, Legend Killer

Still young, not all that flashy, love beating opponents more established than them.

Next week, we’re gonna take a look at the #12 Penn State Men’s Ice Hockey team.

SCORE BOARD FROM AROUND THE BURGH:

RMU WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM:

The #10 RMU Women continue their 7 game winning streak with two solid wins against RIT and earned their first ever national ranking. Red shirt Junior Brittany Howard tallied her 100th career point in the 4-3 win over the Tigers. RMU then curb-stomped RIT Saturday night 5-1 with five unanswered goals. Head Coach Paul Colontino is 5 wins away from his 100th victory as a colonial. They’ll be going into tournament play in Virginia at the Windjammer Tournament (wasn’t that a SNES game or some shit?) over weekend of the 25th and 26th. Once they get back they’ll play at Penn State first weekend of December.

PSU MEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM:

The #12 Nittany Lions continue their impressive record (8-1-1) by beating down the Seawolves? What the hell is a Seawolf? Doesn’t matter. Penn State beat the struggling Sea dachshunds 6-3 friday night in University Park. David Goodwin is the first PSU player to register a 100 point career season, so congrats to him. Their next game against the Sea Chihuahuas went just as well, with PSU coming out on top 3-1. Seriously, SeaWolves? Isn’t that like a Seal? After Michael Vicking Alaska-Anchorage, PSU will now take on the Arizona St. Sun Devils at home.

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(Pictured is the official Sea Wolf mascot)

PSU WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM:

The PSU Women hosted the Lions of Lindenwood this past weekend. Penn State scored three unanswered goals in the last thirty minutes of the game to get the win. Bella Sutton nets her fifth game-winning goal against Lindenwood. Saturday night ended up being a wash for both Lion squads as Penn State and Lindenwood tied 1-1. Nothing too much of note from this game, although congrats to Laura Bowman on her 91st career point as a Nittany Lion. That’s good enough for a program record. The Lady Nittany Lions will take on non-conference foe St. Lawrence Nov. 21st and 22nd.

MERCYHURST MEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM:

The Mercyhurst Lakers couldn’t complete a rally to beat Niagara on Tuesday night. Giving up 3 goals in the first period, the Lakers stormed back, outscoring the Purple rain Eagles 3-2 in the second, and netting another goal in the third. Jack Riley netted two goals and an assist for himself, despite the losing effort. Mercyhurst will take on Bentley University Friday, Saturday and Sunday night up in Massachusetts.

MERCYHURST WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM:

Things seemed to go a bit better for the Lady Lakers as they split with Syracuse this weekend, losing the first game 4-2, then winning their next game 4-3. Maggie Knott had a hell of a day in the 4-3 win, with two goals and an assist to add to her resume. They’ll be playing RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE which sounds like the most frightening school possible. They’ll look to RIP RPI (HA!) Friday and Saturday against whatever the hell RPI’s nickname is. Seriously, when you name a school, it shouldn’t sound like the bad guys company in Alien.

OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:

  • Johnstown Tomahawks lost both of their games against the Aston Rebels 3-2.
  • Penguins Elite Chad Veltri netminds his way to a shutout in his first NAHL game.
  • Gwyneth Philips will be the first Penguins Elite goaltender to be selected and attend the USA Women’s National Team Goalie Development Team Camp.
  • Penguins Elite Midget Majors have 12 Players from their Championship Squad going on Junior Rosters for the upcoming 2016-2017 Season
  • Seawolves is still a terrible name
  • PIHL Standings look like this so far:
    • Varsity AAA has Peters Township atop everyone, followed by Seneca Valley and third place tie between Central Catholic and Armstrong
    • Varsity AA West has Plum on top, Hampton in 2nd and Greater Latrobe with the bronze.
    • Meanwhile in the East, Moon has broken away from the pack to grab first place with a conga line of teams tied at 8 pts apiece (North Hills, Quaker Valley and Mt. Lebanon.)
    • In Varsity A East, there’s an even bigger traffic jam at the top of the standings with Franklin Regional, Kiski Area and Indiana all tied with 10 pts atop everyone.
    • Finally Varsity A West has a similar issue with Charties Valley, Thomas Jefferson and South Fayette all jammed up with 8 pts.

Huge stick taps to RMUColonials.com, GoPSUSports and HurstAthletics.com

Be sure to give some love their way.

In short: Go Pens, Go Pittsburgh.