That hot streak the Penn State men’s hockey team had been enjoying is history.
Instead, the team continues to be dogged by a not-so-enjoyable history in CONSOL Energy Center.
The Nittany Lions surrendered three goals in a very sloppy second period and fell 6-4 to Robert Morris on Monday night in the Three Rivers Classic.
Eric Scheid, Luke Juha, Curtis Loik and Dylan Richard all scored as the No. 14 Nittany Lions (11-3-3) saw their nine-game unbeaten streak come to an end. Eamon McAdam made 27 saves in the loss, which saw his team outshoot Robert Morris 56-33.
“I thought we’ve done some good things,” coach Guy Gadowsky told the media in Pittsburgh. “In the end I think we gave up too many odd-man rushes, obviously, took too many penalties, against the team that’s obviously the best power-play in the nation. Those aspects we really didn’t do well.”
Terry Shafer made 52 saves for the win.
It was the Lions’ first loss since Oct. 30 to St. Lawrence.
Penn State will meet Clarkson in the consolation game at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Golden Knights lost 3-0 to No. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell in the night’s first contest.
In four appearances in the tournament hosted at the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Penn State has won just once in the opening round, and earned just two wins overall.
The Nittany Lions were trailing almost from the outset, with Daniel Leavens putting the Colonials (10-4-3) ahead 3:57 into the game, knocking the puck from behind the net off McAdam’s back.
Scheid evened the game 2:30 into the second, netting a shorthanded goal. It was the team’s sixth score of the season down a man.
The tie game didn’t last long, as Tyson Wilson hit the net 1:12 later on that same power play.
From there the Colonials rolled with goals from Spencer Dorowicz knocking in a rebound and Brandon Denham cashing in as the teams exchanged odd-man rushes for a three-goal lead through two periods.
“You have to give Robert Morris credit,” Gadowsky said. “I thought they transitioned very quickly and they took advantage of what we gave them. You have to give them credit too. It wasn’t all mistakes.”
Penn State began to chip away in the third, first with a blast from the point by Juha 4:51 into the third, then Loik found a sliver of space from a tight angle by the boards to make it a one-goal margin with 8:03 left.
Then the rally stalled.
First on a 2-on-1 break 1:02 later, McAdam stopped an attempt by Greg Gibson, but Zac Lynch slid in on his stomach and poked in the rebound. Then, with McAdam pulled for an extra attacker, Gibson hit the net from long range.
Richard completed the scoring with about a minute left, and it appeared Vince Pedrie had the deficit back to one goal in the final seconds, but the officials waved the goal off when it appeared Shafer was interfered with in the crease.
“We did score four goals, and almost a fifth there,” Scheid said. “But bottom line, we just made some sloppy plays with the puck and ... Robert Morris took advantage of all the mistakes we made. Their goalie played well. Not much we can do about that.”
Notes: Penn State skated without defenseman Mike Williamson for unknown reasons in the third period. ... Robert Morris has a 4-2 record all-time against Penn State.