|RMU Knocks Off No. 4 Mercyhurst, 3-1|
Pittsburgh, Pa. - In a rematch of last year's College Hockey America (CHA) Tournament Championship game, the Robert Morris University women's hockey team repeated its play from the championship contest to skate to a 3-1 victory over No. 4 Mercyhurst.
Sophomore forward Rebecca Vint (Caledon, Ontario / Brampton Jr. Thunder) led the RMU scoring effort with one goal and two assists. The multi-point effort is Vint's sixth of the season and third straight. Vint now has 19 points on the season, 10 goals and nine assists.
The Colonials would get on the board first at 11:28 of the first period when junior forward Kristen Richards (Toronto, Ontario / Niagara University) scored her fifth goal of the season on a RMU 5-3 power-play advantage. After shots from Vint and senior forward Kelsey Thomas (Hamilton, Ontario / Hamilton Hawks) and a scuffle in front of the net, Richards buried a rebounded shot from the right of the crease to put RMU up, 1-0. The goal is the first power play goal of the season for Richards while the assists mark the eighth and ninth of the year for Vint and Thomas.
Mercyhurst would respond 7:19 later with a score of its own to tie the contest, 1-1. Freshman forward Jenna Dingeldein scored her sixth goal of the season with sophomore defensemen Molly Bryne receiving the primary assist and junior forward Christie Cicero tallying the second assist.
Throughout a hard fought and physical second period, the Lakers nor the Colonials could capitalize on scoring chances. The majority of the period was played in the neutral zone. However, Mercyhurst outshot Robert Morris 7-4 in the second while RMU successfully denied four Laker power play opportunities.
After an evenly played first half of the third period, sophomore forward Katie Fergus (Oakville, Ontario / Brampton Jr. Barracudas) found the net on a RMU power play to end the 1-1 tie that lasted for nearly 33:00. Junior assistant captain Thea Imbrogno (Etobicoke, Ontario / Mississauga Jr. Chiefs) passed to Vint who quickly found Fergus in the slot for the score. The second Colonial goal came at 7:07 of the third period.
With 2:16 left in the contest, Vint would snipe a shot from the right of the faceoff zone for an unassisted goal which added extra cushion to the RMU lead.
The Colonials skated to the 3-1 victory with the help of their penalty kill unit. The Colonial penalty kill team stifled all seven of the Laker's power play chances, while the RMU power play unit scored two power play goals on eight opportunities. It is just the second time this season the RMU power play unit has scored two goals in a contest. After tonight's contest, the Colonial penalty killed unit is a perfect 13-13 at home. In CHA play, the penalty kill team has only allowed one power play goal on 25 attempts.
Fergus' game-winning goal on the power play marks the first power play goal of her sophomore campaign and the first game-winning goal of her young career. Thomas' assist on the first RMU goal moves her into the career top-five for points with 69.
Senior netminder Kristen DiCiocco (Niagara Falls, Ontario / Stoney Creek Jr. Sabres) earned the victory between the pipes for the Colonials. DiCicco stopped 19 of 20 shots in the contest to register .950 save percentage. DiCiocco now owns an overall record of 7-3-2 and a league record of 3-1-0. The victory for the senior marks the 29th of her career making her only three wins short of the program record of 31-career wins.
Tonight's loss marks just the second in 17 games for the Lakers this season. In the last six meetings of the Colonials and Lakers, RMU has been victorious in three of the contests. The single goal which Mercyhurst scored in tonight's contest marks the first time in RMU program history in which the Colonials have held Mercyhurst to one goal.
RMU and Mercyhurst complete its two-game series tomorrow, Dec. 8 at the RMU Island Sports Center. Faceoff is set for 3:05 p.m.