By Matt Gajtka
Moon Township, Pa. – Robert Morris University, men’s hockey, plays its 16th NCAA Division I season in 2019-20, complete with a Penn State home-and-home and a trip to Arizona State to complement a 28-game Atlantic Hockey Association slate.
The Colonials, who have qualified for a record-tying six consecutive Atlantic Hockey semifinals, will embark upon their 10th season in the 11-team AHA on Oct. 11-12, when they host frequent postseason opponent Bentley in a two-game series at the RMU Island Sports Center. RMU eliminated Bentley in three of the past four springs, including an epic three-game set this March in the AHA quarterfinal round.
RMU’s new season begins a week earlier, though, when the Colonials challenge Michigan Tech for the first time in program history. Robert Morris hosts the Huskies of the WCHA on Oct. 5-6, starting the 17-game home schedule on an intriguing note. The Colonials have faced 43 of the other active 59 D-I programs, with Michigan Tech set to become the 44th.
Sixteen of RMU’s home games will take place at Colonials Arena at the RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island, plus a contest against Penn State of the Big Ten on Saturday, Jan. 11 at PPG Paints Arena. The matchup marks the 14th consecutive season the Colonials will skate on the home ice of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, with the first four of those showcases taking place at Mellon Arena.
Other matchups of interest include a trip to State College, Pa., to confront the Nittany Lions on Friday, Oct. 25; that’ll be the third consecutive year RMU will invade ‘Hockey Valley’ and Pegula Ice Arena. Also, the Colonials will play west of Colorado for just the second time in program history when they take on independent Arizona State in Tempe, Arizona, on Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
Head Coach Derek Schooley commented on the upcoming campaign, “This is an exciting schedule for our hockey program. While we continue our home-and-home series with Penn State with our home game at PPG Paints Arena, with a trip to Arizona State and hosting Michigan Tech, we’re getting the opportunity to play new opponents that we haven’t had the chance to play before.”
The two-game set against the up-and-coming Sun Devils will mark the second straight weekend in which the Colonials battle a 2019 NCAA Tournament team. On Jan. 24-25, RMU hosts American International, which defeated the Colonials and Niagara this past March, then went on to upset No. 1 overall seed St. Cloud State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The AHA postseason champion has won its first-round NCAA game in four of the past five years.
Ice Chips Clipboard: Per Alan Saunders at Pittsburgh Hockey Digest, the Three Rivers Classic is going on a temporary hiatus after a seven-year run in the City of Bridges. The first two-day college hockey tournament was in 2012.
Check out the full upcoming schedule here online.
Throwback On YouTube.com – RMU Athletics (03/19/2019) – RMU Men’s Hockey Vs. Bentley – Game 3 Highlights…
Matt Gajtka is the Media Relations Specialist for Men’s Hockey and Women’s Lacrosse at Robert Morris University.
All Article Photos By Larry N. Snyder – All Rights Reserved