Hobey Baker candidate Wydo leading surge for Robert Morris men's hockey team
College Football Videos
For the past month, Robert Morris has been among the hottest men's hockey teams in Division I. The Colonials won just twice in the first three months of the season, but since the calendar flipped to 2014, they are 9-1-2, including 7-0-2 in their past nine games.
They've thrust themselves into the thick of the Atlantic Hockey Association title chase, and junior Cody Wydo has been front and center. During the unbeaten streak, Wydo has recorded nine goals and six assists. He leads the AHA and is tied for third nationally with 21 goals — the same total that allowed him to share the conference lead last year.
“I don't want to say it's just me being better the last couple weeks,” said Wydo, a native of Southgate, Mich. “Everyone on the whole team has been picking their game up. So when everyone on the whole team is playing better, it makes it easier for everyone to get points and be able to be successful.”
Points always have come relatively easily for Wydo. He led the North American Hockey League with 91 points (40 goals) the year before coming to Robert Morris. After cracking the Colonials' lineup six games into his freshman season, he posted 13 goals and added 21 last year.
His career total of 55 goals leaves him just 10 away from becoming RMU's all-time leader.
What hasn't come easily is recognition.
“He goes under the radar a little bit,” Colonials coach Derek Schooley said. “He hasn't ever got any league awards. He led the conference in goals last year and wasn't on the top three teams at the end of the year.
“He just quietly goes about his business. I think he's a little bit underrated, comparatively, to some of the other top college players.”
That might be changing just a bit. When the watch list for the Hobey Baker Award — college hockey's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy — was released Jan. 14, Wydo's name was on it.
Wydo, however, deflected much of the recognition from himself.
“I was pretty excited to hear about that, not only for my name, but for the school aspect of it, just getting our school's name out there,” he said. “We're not that big of a school across the nation, yet. So having the school get that kind of publicity is good for everything.”
Wydo might not be getting as many accolades as Schooley thinks he deserves, but opposing defenses give him plenty of attention. Even with that target on him, Wydo continues to fill the net.
Making his success even more confounding for opponents is his perceived lack of physical gifts; he's not the biggest (5-foot-10, 175 pounds) or the fastest skater. What he might lack in those areas, Schooley said, Wydo makes up for in hard work and hockey IQ.
“Everybody questioned his size, his skating ability,” Schooley said. “He just knows how to score. He goes to the right places. He goes to the dirty areas, and he goes to places to create offense.
“He's an incredibly smart hockey player. He knows where to go before the puck gets there.”
Though Wydo admitted he set a target of 25 goals this season, he's more concerned with the Colonials getting a first-round bye in the AHA playoffs. Robert Morris is just four points behind conference-leading Mercyhurst and has two games with the Lakers to close out the season.
Talk of a conference title might have seemed far-fetched given the way Robert Morris started the season. But behind their Hobey Baker nominee, the Colonials have become a factor again.
Chuck Curti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jobs on state website include ‘private party dancing,’ ‘car dates’
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin bringing officials to practice
- Point State Park honored as top-notch public space
- Port Authority police discuss bus crash with county prosecutors
- Rossi: Pirates plan to carry Hurdle deep into playoffs
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy
- Melocchi pleads guilty in leading McKeesport gambling ring
- Program helping Armstrong jail inmates earn GED diplomas
- Consol Energy Center cashes in again on payments from Rivers Casino
- Pets rescued from Westmoreland house fire