Robert Morris Colonials men's ice hockey
|Robert Morris Colonials men's ice hockey|
|University||Robert Morris University|
|Head coach||Derek Schooley|
|7th year, 87–125–31|
|Arena||Island Sports Center
|Location||Neville Township, Pennsylvania|
|Colors||Blue and Red and White
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|Conference Tournament Champions|
The Robert Morris Colonials men's ice hockey team is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represents Robert Morris University. The team plays its home games at the Island Sports Center in Neville Township, Pennsylvania, United States. The Colonials are a member of the Atlantic Hockey Association. Until the 2009–10 season, the Colonials were a member of College Hockey America.
Robert Morris had a successful club hockey team for several years before rumors started circulating in the early 2000s that the school would join NCAA Division I. In December 2002, reports first surfaced that the school was interested in purchasing the Island Sports Center, which would house a men's and women's ice hockey team. On August 8, 2003, the school officially purchased the 32-acre complex – complete with a 1,100-seat hockey arena – for $10 million. The five-year old complex is located in Neville Island, only a few miles from RMU's campus in Moon Township. Just twelve days later, on August 20, 2003, Robert Morris athletic director Susan Hofacre officially announced that the Colonials would field an NCAA men's ice hockey team for the 2004–05 season. At the same time, the school added men's and women's lacrosse and women's field hockey as part of an expansion of the athletic department. Two days later, the school hired former Western Michigan defenceman Derek Schooley as its first head coach.
In January 2004, before the school had ever played a game, they were accepted into the College Hockey America conference. Typically, most new NCAA schools play as an Independent in their first years, but a unique series of events led to RMU being immediately accepted into the conference. The fledgling six-team conference was first given an automatic bid to the 2003 NCAA Tournament. However, in January 2004, CHA member Findlay announced they would drop hockey from its athletic program effective at the end of the 2003–04 season. This left the CHA one team short of the six required to keep their automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. As RMU was the only NCAA team not already attached to a conference, the CHA invited RMU to join immediately for the 2004–05 season. The school accepted on January 29, 2004.
Schooley quickly moved to secure the Colonials' first recruiting class and hired two assistant coaches. Nevertheless, the Colonials were predictably overmatched in their first year as an NCAA team. The young squad consisted of twenty-two freshmen and no seniors as Schooley built for the school's future. In its first season, the Colonials finished last in the conference with an 8–21–4 record.
At the start of the 2005–06 season, the Colonials were reminded how much work the program needed to do when they were stunned by the Penn State University club team in a 3–2 exhibition loss prior to the season. Two games later, however, RMU shocked CCHA member Western Michigan in a 5–2 victory that Schooley called "the biggest win for our program." The Colonials improved to 12–20–3 in their second season while advancing to the CHA semifinals for the first time.
In 2006–07, the Colonials improved yet again, finishing 14–19–2. On January 7, 2007, the Colonials beat nationally ranked Notre Dame for their first ever victory over a ranked team. The squad advanced to the CHA tournament final, where they came up just short of qualifying for their first ever NCAA Tournament against Alabama–Huntsville. The Colonials jumped out to a 4–0 first period lead and looked set for their first conference championship before the Chargers mounted a frantic comeback that ended with a 5–4 overtime victory.
It was more of the same for the Colonials over the next two years. In 2007–08, the squad finished a school-record 15–15–4 (including a win over #8 ranked Boston University) but again came up short in the CHA tournament. In 2008–09, the school finished only 10–19–7 before reaching the CHA tournament final against Bemidji State. Once again, the Colonials were left heartbroken, as they lost in overtime for the second time in three years.
By this time, it was clear that the CHA would soon disband. In 2006, Air Force left the league, leaving the conference with only five teams (one short of the six required to retain the NCAA autobid). Given two years to keep their autobid before losing it, the CHA began the search for a sixth member – likely a club team, as all current Division I teams were already in a conference. After no school expressed interest in joining, Wayne State announced just prior to the 2007–08 season that they would disband their team following the season. Following Wayne State's departure, saving the CHA was all but impossible, and Robert Morris applied for membership into Atlantic Hockey (AHA). In January 2009, the AHA announced that both RMU and Niagara's applications were unanimously approved, paving the way for the schools to join the conference for the 2010–11 season. Robert Morris and Penn State were the hosts of the inaugural Three Rivers Classic NCAA hockey tournament at the Consol Energy Center in December, 2012.
|Derek Schooley (College Hockey America) (2004–2010)|
|2004–2005||Derek Schooley||8–21–4||4–14–2||6th||Lost in CHA Quarterfinal|
|2005–2006||Derek Schooley||12–20–3||7–11–2||4th||Lost in CHA Semifinal|
|2006–2007||Derek Schooley||14–19–2||9–10–1||4th||Lost in CHA Championship|
|2007–2008||Derek Schooley||15–15–4||10–7–3||3rd||Lost in CHA Semifinal|
|2008–2009||Derek Schooley||10–19–7||5–8–5||3rd||Lost in CHA Championship|
|2009–2010||Derek Schooley||10–19–6||6–9–3||4th||Tie in CHA Third Place Game|
|Derek Schooley (Atlantic Hockey) (2010–present)|
|2010–2011||Derek Schooley||18–12–5||13–9–5||5th||Lost AHA Tournament 1st round|
|2011–2012||Derek Schooley||17–17–5||13–9–5||7th||Lost AHA Tournament 2nd round|
|2012–2013||Derek Schooley||20–14–4||13–11–3||5th||Lost AHA Tournament 2nd round|
|2013–2014||Derek Schooley||18-17-5||13–9-5||Won AHA Tournament Championship|
As of August 20, 2013
|#||S/P/C||Player||Class||Pos||Height||Weight||DoB||Hometown||Previous team||NHL rights|
|33||Blazek, AndrewAndrew Blazek||Senior||D||6' 2" (1.88 m)||180 lb (82 kg)||Pittsburgh, Pa.||Topeka Roadrunners||—|
|28||Cope, MattMatt Cope||Sophomore||F||6' 2" (1.88 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||Lakewood, Colo.||Wenatchee Wild||—|
|44||Denham, BrandonBrandon Denham||Sophomore||F||6' 4" (1.93 m)||205 lb (93 kg)||Milton, Ontario||Oakville Blades||—|
|9||Friedmann, DavidDavid Friedmann||Sophomore||F||5' 11" (1.8 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||Toronto, Ontario||Toronto Jr. Canadiens||—|
|12||Geerin, JimmyJimmy Geerin||Senior||D||6' 1" (1.85 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||Anchorage, Alaska||Burnaby Express||—|
|16||Gibson, GregGreg Gibson||Sophomore||F||5' 10" (1.78 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||Burlington, Ontario||Amarillo Bulls||—|
|4||Golightly, ChaseChase Golightly||Sophomore||D||5' 10" (1.78 m)||180 lb (82 kg)||Temecula, Calif.||Prince George Spruce Kings||—|
|31||Izyk, DaltonDalton Izyk||Freshman||G||5' 11" (1.8 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||Oswego, N.Y.||Indiana Ice||—|
|19||Jacklin, ScottScott Jacklin||Junior||F||6' 0" (1.83 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||Kimberley, British Columbia||Trail Smoke Eaters||—|
|11||Jones, JeffJeff Jones||Junior||F||5' 9" (1.75 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||Revelstoke, British Columbia||Merritt Centennials||—|
|30||Lane, BrandonBrandon Lane||Freshman||G||6' 1" (1.85 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||Oakville, Ontario||Kanata Stallions||—|
|26||Leavens, DanielDaniel Leavens||Freshman||F||6' 2" (1.88 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||Thornhill, Ontario||Newmarket Hurricanes||—|
|24||Llewelyn, JayJay Llewelyn||Sophomore||F||6' 4" (1.93 m)||222 lb (101 kg)||Saginaw, Mich.||Carleton Place Canadians||—|
|27||Lynch, ZacZac Lynch||Sophomore||F||6' 0" (1.83 m)||180 lb (82 kg)||Pittsburgh, Pa.||Bay State Breakers||—|
|6||Mann, RobRob Mann||Freshman||D||6' 4" (1.93 m)||217 lb (98 kg)||Oshawa, Ontario||Pentiction Vees||—|
|5||Moore, EvanEvan Moore||Sophomore||D||5' 11" (1.8 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||Grosse Pointe, Mich.||Sioux Falls Stampede||—|
|2||Renwick, EvanEvan Renwick||Senior||D||6' 3" (1.91 m)||205 lb (93 kg)||Calgary, Alberta||Canmore Eagles||—|
|3||Rey, JohnJohn Rey||Freshman||D||6' 3" (1.91 m)||205 lb (93 kg)||Turnersville, N.J.||Amarillo Bulls||—|
|14||Rigatti, DavidDavid Rigatti||Junior||F||6' 0" (1.83 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||Pittsburgh, Pa.||Texas Tornado||—|
|22||Robillard, BenBen Robillard||Freshman||F||5' 11" (1.8 m)||195 lb (88 kg)||Ottawa, Ontario||Ottawa Jr. Senators||—|
|21||Roy, MacMac Roy||Senior||F||5' 11" (1.8 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||Chilliwack, British Columbia||Alabama-Huntsville||—|
|1||Shafer, TerryTerry Shafer||Sophomore||G||6' 2" (1.88 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||Penfield, N.Y.||New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs||—|
|7||South, ColinColin South||Senior||F||6' 2" (1.88 m)||195 lb (88 kg)||Sewickley, Pa.||Bay State Breakers||—|
|15||Walton, JohnJohn Walton||Senior||D||5' 11" (1.8 m)||170 lb (77 kg)||West Chester, Pa.||Philadelphia Jr. Flyers||—|
|10||Wilson, TysonTyson Wilson||Sophomore||D||6' 1" (1.85 m)||210 lb (95 kg)||Brockville, Ontario||Brockville Braves||—|
|23||Wydo, CodyCody Wydo||Junior||F||5' 10" (1.78 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||Southgate, Mich.||Motor City Metal Jackets||—|
As of the end of the professional 2009–10 season, no former Robert Morris player has played a National Hockey League game. However, several players have gone on to play in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League and Tier AA leagues ECHL and Central Hockey League.
The following are the Robert Morris school records. Statistics are accurate as of the conclusion of the 2012-2013 season. Italics indicates player is still active.
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- Mackinder, Matt (March 11, 2007). "Chargers snag first NCAA automatic bid with OT victory". USCHO.com. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- "Bemidji State 3, Robert Morris 2". USCHO.com. November 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- Brown, Scott (April 23, 2006). "A New World Order". USCHO.com. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- Staff, INCH (September 26, 2007). "Wayne State to Drop Hockey Program". insidecollegehockey.com. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- Staff, CHN (January 29, 2009). "Niagara, Robert Morris Officially Announce Move". collegehockeynews.com. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- Werner, Sam (December 28, 2012). "Robert Morris hockey attracts strong field for Three Rivers Classic." Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
- "M Ice Hockey - 2013-14 Roster". RMUColonials.com. 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- "Robert Morris University Alumni Report". HockeyDB.com. November 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- "Colonizing a New World". Robert Morris University. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2012-12-21.