|Friedmann’s Third-Period Goal Leads RMU to Victory|
Pittsburgh, Pa. – A third period goal from David Friedmann vaulted the Robert Morris University men’s hockey team to a 4-3 victory over Connecticut on Saturday evening. The loss of a senior forward during the first period did not slow the Colonials as a goal on the power play and a goal while shorthanded contributed to the victory and a series split with the Huskies as RMU improved to 11-6-2 on the season.
The Huskies would open the scoring while on the power play in the first period. After two consecutive penalties were called on Robert Morris, Connecticut would capitalize and take a 1-0 lead while on the two-man advantage.
The Colonials would respond with a power-play goal of their own less than three minutes later. Freshman Greg Gibson (Burlington, Ontario / Amarillo Bulls) would position himself in the slot and deflect a shot from the point by Jimmy Geerin (Anchorage, Alaska / Burnaby Express). Assistant captain Tyler Hinds (Orleans, Ontario / Nepean Raiders) would also receive an assist on Robert Morris’ first power-play goal since December 28, 2012. Coming in to the game, the Colonials had the worst power-play unit in the NCAA having converted 7.9 percent of their power-play opportunities.
Connecticut would regain the lead a short time later as a turnover behind the Robert Morris net led to a tap-in goal right on the doorstep to make the score 2-1.
With the action becoming very physical, senior Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smiths Falls Bears) crossed the line. After initially being called for a charging penalty, Hervato chirped to the ref while making his way to the penalty box. The referee then assessed him a ten-minute misconduct before issuing a game misconduct seconds later. Hervato, who entered the game with 49 points, was looking to become the 18th Colonial in program history to record 50 points.
Robert Morris would tie the score less than a minute in to the second period as leading scorer Cody Wydo (Southgate, Mich. / Motor City Metal Jackets) would pick up his ninth goal of the season. Defenseman Chase Golightly (Temecula, Calif. / Prince George Spruce Kings) would intercept an outlet pass and fed forward Adam Brace (Cobden, Ontario / Canisius College) in to the offensive zone on a 2-on-0 breakaway with Wydo. Brace faked a shot before feeding Wydo as the Connecticut goaltender dropped in to the butterfly position and slid away from the far post where Wydo was positioned.
The Colonials would hold the lead for the first time in the game as Brace would pick up a short-handed goal in the second period. On the ensuing faceoff after being whistled for a slashing penalty, RMU won a defensive zone faceoff taken by Wydo. Picking up the puck in the defensive zone was captain Brendan Jamison (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Jersey Hitmen) who then fed Brace on an outlet pass as the forward sprinted from the defensive zone as the faceoff was won. Shielding off two oncoming defensemen, Brace would drive to the net to give Robert Morris the 3-2 lead.
The Huskies would answer with a short-handed goal of their own in the final minute of the second period to make the game a 3-3 tie after two periods of play.
There would only be one goal scored in the third period and it came off of the stick of freshman David Friedmann (Toronto, Ontario / Toronto Jr. Canadiens). As a Robert Morris power play expired Brace carried the puck in to the offensive zone and around the Connecticut net. As he made his way towards the blue line, Brace flicked a shot towards the cage that was blocked down. The loose puck fell right to the feet of Friedmann who quickly got off a shot over the glove hand of the UConn goaltender to put the Colonials ahead, 4-3.
The final 90 seconds ticked off the clock with an empty net for Connecticut as the Colonials sacrificed the body in front of goaltender Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings) to preserve the 4-3 victory.
Levine would end the game with 36 saves while picking up his tenth win of the season. Robert Morris would outshoot Connecticut, 43-39, as five different Colonials recorded at least five shots on goal. Brace’s three points in tonight’s game pushed his career total to 92 points including twenty multi-point games.
Robert Morris will hit the road for the remainder of January with contests at American International and Air Force. Two games in Springfield, Mass. await the Colonials next weekend as the Yellow Jackets of AIC are the next opponent for RMU. The team returns home on Feb. 1 when they host Sacred Heart.