Shafer, Colonials upset Penn State to advance to Three Rivers Classic championship

Daniel Kitchen and Daniel Kitchen

It’s not often that a goaltender lets in four goals in one game and still gets serious consideration for one of the three stars afterward, but Terry Shafer of Robert Morris achieved that very feat in their opening round contest of the 2015 Three Rivers Classic.

“If you don’t like offensive hockey, don’t come to the game today,” were words of advice head coach Derek Schooley gave before Robert Morris University’s (9-4-3) match with the Penn State Nittany Lions (11-2-3), and he couldn’t have been more accurate with his warning. What began as a 1-0 game after the first period became a 3-1 contest just over seven minutes in to the second, and by the final horn, a total of ten goals were scored in the Colonials’ 6-4 victory.

Shafer found his way in to the Colonial record-books with his performance, making 52 saves on an astounding 56 shots from the Nittany Lions. That puts Shafer fourth overall for saves in a single game, a record he also owns courtesy of a 59-save performance, recorded during the 2013 Three Rivers Classic against none other than Penn State.

“We were able to capitalize on a lot [of chances] tonight. It’s a fun game to play, I think a lot of people like to watch that,” said Colonial forward Zac Lynch.  Lynch was one of three Colonials to record a goal and assist in the game, and one of ten to record a point.

“One rush, we had a three-on-one one way, we turned it over, they came back in a four-on-two, we came back on a two-on-zero,” said Schooley, a description that could have applied to a dozen additional situations within the contest.

Many of those rushes happened in succession for the Colonials, with three consecutive scores in eleven minutes giving them a four-to-one lead. However, miscues and fortunate bounces of the puck allowed Penn State to crawl back in to the contest not once, but almost twice. The first time made the game four-three in the Colonials’ favor, but with under twenty seconds remaining, Dylan Richard lit the lamp for PSU, and another goal was waved off on a controversial call, which would have changed the score to six-five and given Penn State an opportunity to force overtime.

The Colonials will need their offensive prowess again Tuesday evening, as they are set to face one of, if not the best, goaltenders on their schedule this season: University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Kevin Boyle. Boyle shut out Clarkson Monday, making 25 saves, and has been the only netminder to see the ice for the eighth-ranked River Hawks this season.