The journey begins for the Robert Morris Colonials this Saturday night as they take on the visiting University of Ottawa GG’s at RMU Island Sports Center Saturday night in a preseason tune up.
These games traditionally pit NCAA teams against Canadian squads, and for both teams, this will mark their first appearance on the ice this season.
What To Watch For: This game gives the Colonials their first chance to make contact with players other than themselves after several weeks of practice. But more than that, it’s a chance to get more than a mental picture of what the incoming class looks like on the ice. Jobs are next to impossible to earn in one single preseason game, against an opponent they won’t see for a long time.
However, glimpses and flashes of what a player is capable of are noticed and sometimes expanded upon. For the Colonials, this is a chance to experiment with lines and pairings, and to measure what they might want to pay more attention to during preparations for their first regular-season game on Friday, Oct. 6th at Niagara.
Who will dress? It’s head coach Derek Schooley’s call of course, and every year has been a little bit different. In some seasons, nearly the whole team has been dressed and all three goaltenders were used. Other years, not so much, but unless there are substantial injuries, expect most of their incoming class of freshman and transfer players to be dressed and ready to make an impression.
New Faces: There are four incoming freshman and two transfers lacing up for the Colonials this year, and while that number is not huge, they may be vital in helping to reach their goals this season.
G Dyllan Lubbesmeyer (6’0″, 195) comes to Robert Morris from Shreveport of the NAHL where he posted a 2.29 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
F Ryley Risling, (6’2″, 195) arrives from Penticton of the BCHL where he managed 30 points (16 goal, 14 assists) in 30 games last season after posting 74 points in 124 games for the Canmore Eagles (AJHL) the previous three seasons
F Nick Prkusic (6’3″, 205) played 175 games in three seasons for the Brooks Bandits (AJHL) and scored 76 points in 56 games in 2016-2017 while serving as team captain.
F Michael Louria (5’10”, 185) sat out last season with the Colonials after transferring from UMass-Lowell, where he managed 24 points in 51 games. He’s now a redshirt junior.
D Nick Jenny (5’10”, 185) will officially join the team after his skating as an early enrollee last spring. He comes from the Omaha Lancers (USHL) and Aberdeen Wings (NAHL) where he put up 17 points in 84 games over the last two seasons while racking up 89 penalty minutes.
D Brett Beauvais (5’11”, 185) spent three seasons with the Bemidji State Beavers and now joins the Colonials as a graduate student. He rolled up 20 points in 102 games with the Beavers and was a WCHA All-Academic Team member two seasons ago.
Players To Watch: Depending on who dresses for Saturday night, there could be some folks to keep a close watch on. The battle for a starting job on the defensive side will be interesting to watch unfold, as Jenny and Beauvais look to earn time. Their job won’t be made easy by a pair of impressive sophomores in Alex Robert and Michael Giles who both showed flashes of good play last season. Fans may want to keep an eye on the progression of forwards Luke Lynch and Matthew Graham who could very well take giant leaps forward in terms of production this coming season and are both very entertaining to watch as well.