March 12, 2014 PRINT Bookmark and Share

He Just Scores Goals

Robert Morris' Wydo is Among Nation's Leaders

by Jen Dobias/CHN Reporter

When asked what type of hockey player Cody Wydo is, Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley gave a simple answer.

“He’s a goal scorer,” he said. “They don’t ask how; they ask how many. Sometimes they’re very pretty, sometimes they’re not so pretty, but they all go in the net and they all count the same.”

After finishing his sophomore campaign with 21 goals, a tally shy of tying RMU’s single-season record, Wydo didn’t fall short of the record this season, netting 25 goals in 37 games. He’s currently fourth in the nation in goals and, adding to that total 20 assists, he’s tied for fourth in points.

“It’s not easy to get up there. It’s not easy to score that many goals,” linemate Scott Jacklin said. “He’s just always around the net. That’s how he gets his goals.”

Wydo has shown the ability to put up big numbers throughout his career. In his final season in the North American Hockey League, Wydo put on an offensive clinic en route to being named the 2011 Forward of the Year. He racked up 91 points (40 goals, 51 assists) in 58 regular-season games and led the league in goals and points.

But there were questions that his skill set may not translate to the college game. At only 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, Wydo has never been the biggest player on the ice. He’s also rarely the fastest, though Schooley called him “deceptively fast” and said that “when he goes, he can go.”

“I’d be lying if I said I expected him to be a 25-goal scorer, but I expected him to be able to contribute offensively and play on the top six,” Schooley said. “People passed on him because they questioned his size or they questioned his skating. But if you watched him on a consistent basis you just noticed that he was always in the right place, the puck was always around him and he always scored.”

Wydo has rewarded RMU’s faith in him, and also exceeded his coaches’ expectations, just by being the player that he is: an opportunistic goal scorer who can find open space and see plays developing faster than other skaters. When he gets hot, he can net goals at a rapid clip, evidenced by his seven-goal outburst in back-to-back games against Penn State and Canisius in November and his five-game goal streak, during which RMU went unbeaten, between Jan. 25 and Feb. 8.

“I just try to find areas that are open in the offensive zone,” Wydo said. “I try to get behind the defenseman, have him not be able to see me. Just get lost out on the ice. Once the puck finds me or I find the puck, I usually am able to put it in or have an opportunity to score.”

If he keeps taking advantage of those chances, Wydo will continue his assault on the RMU record book. In three seasons, he has already set a program best with 12 career game-winning goals and is tied for first with four career shorthanded goals. With 59 career goals, he is just six away from breaking Chris Margott’s all-time record.

Setting individual records is always nice, especially when you’re like Wydo, an undrafted player hoping to gain a foothold in professional hockey one day. But RMU’s star is focused only on the task at hand: defeating Connecticut to earn a trip to Rochester, N.Y. for the Atlantic Hockey semifinals.

“There’s a revenge factor because they knocked us out of the playoffs last year,” Wydo said. “We want to go and be the ones that knock them out this year to give them a little bit of payback.”

As for Wydo, not only will he help RMU win, he’ll continue to take his revenge on all the teams that doubted him, one goal at a time.

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