The Robert Morris Colonials men’s ice hockey team will have a tough road to surpass their record-breaking 2014-15 season, and it just got tougher.
The Pittsburgh Sporting News has learned that the Colonials will play a two-game road series at Yost Arena, home of the Michigan Wolverines on October 30 and 31, 2015. This will mark the first meeting between the Colonials and the Wolverines.
The Wolverines, lead by legendary head coach Red Berenson, finished 22-15 a season ago, good enough for a No. 20 ranking in the final USCHO.com Division-I poll.
For Derek Schooley’s Colonials, it will be an important road series against a well-regarded opponent. A weak year in Atlantic Hockey combined with a poor non-conference schedule in 2014-15 kept the Colonials from claiming their second-straight NCAA tournament berth, despite dominating in AHC play as wire-to-wire champions.
Between Michigan and Penn State, who the Colonials play annually in Three Rivers Classic tournament at Consol Energy Center, Robert Morris will have a pair of Big Ten opponents on their slate. Wins in those games will be pivotal toward wrapping up the program’s second NCAA tournament berth.
If Robert Morris wants to find their way back to the big dance, they’ll have to find a way to replace the school’s all-time leading scorer, Cody Wydo, who joined the Pittsburgh Penguins organization after the completion of his senior season.
The Colonials will return seven of their top-nine forwards, including seniors Zac Lynch, Brandon Denham, Greg Gibson, David Friedmann and Matt Cope. They’re also expected to bring back all six starting defensemen and both goaltenders.
Michigan graduated top 2014-15 scorer Zach Hyman and second-leading scorer Dylan Larkin has left after one season to sign with the Detroit Red Wings.
The Colonials quest to repeat as Atlantic Hockey regular season champions begins October 11 with an exhibition game against Guelph University. The rest of the 2015-16 schedule is expected to be released in the next few days.
Photo credit: Brian Mitchell