|RMU Handed its First Losing Streak of the Season|
USAFA, Colo. - The Robert Morris University men's ice hockey team took to the ice against the Air Force Falcons on Saturday night looking to avenge a shutout handed to the Colonials the previous night. Despite 41 saves by Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings), two goal allowed by RMU while on the penalty kill would result in a 4-1 loss for the Colonials. Robert Morris falls to 12-9-2 on the season and 7-8-1 against Atlantic Hockey opponents after being handed their first losing streak of the season.
In a similar fashion to Friday night’s contest, Air Force would pick up the first goal of the game in the opening minutes of the contest. The Falcons would cycle the puck down low before shuffling out a pass to the front of the RMU net. An opposing player would tuck the puck in between the goal post and Levine’s skate for the early 1-0 lead just 2:19 after the opening faceoff.
Robert Morris would tie the game less than two minutes later as a pass from the corner boards by Adam Brace (Cobden, Ontario / Canisius College) bounced to the Falcon goaltender. Before the goalie could cover the puck, Scott Jacklin (Kimberley, British Columbia / Trail Smoke Eaters) would jab his stick in to the pads and push the puck over the line to tie the game at the 4:08 mark of the first period. Captain Brendan Jamison (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Jersey Hitmen) would also be credited with an assist on Jacklin’s fourth goal of the season. With his assist, Brace moved one step closer to 100 points as the forward now has 96 points during his career.
Air Force would regain the lead in the final minute of the second period with a power-play goal. After the third penalty committed by Jacklin, the Falcons would capitalize on a failed clear by Robert Morris. On the ensuing faceoff, Air Force would execute some tic-tac-toe passing that led to an open one-time shot from the faceoff circle for the 2-1 lead with 39 seconds remaining in the period.
After killing off 74 seconds of a two-man advantage for Air Force, the Colonials would allow a second power-play goal to the Falcons. The goal, a slapshot from the point, would come at the 6:30 mark of the third period would put Robert Morris down two goals, 3-1. In the final minutes of the third, the Falcons would add to their lead with an empty-net goal to make the final score 4-1.
Coming in to the weekend, the Colonials had the worst power-play in the NCAA, scoring on 8.5 percent of their opportunities. Over the weekend, Robert Morris would fail to convert on its nine opportunities, further dropping their success rate to under eight percent (7.9%, 8-for-101). The much-relied on penalty kill unit has also seen a drop in success. After a stretch of games that saw them kill off 34 consecutive penalties, the Colonials have allowed nine goals on the twenty-four opportunities since the streak was snapped. In conference matches, Robert Morris has successfully killed 76.4 percent of its penalties committed.
Robert Morris will enter the month of February with eleven games remaining in the regular season to move up in the Atlantic Hockey standings. Eight of those eleven games will be played on home ice where the Colonials are 22-11-6 since becoming a member of the AHA.
The Colonials return to the 84 Lumber Arena next weekend for a two-game series against Sacred Heart on Friday and Saturday; faceoff for both games is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The two games against the Pioneers will kick off a nine-day stretch that will see the Colonials play five times as Mercyhurst and RIT also come in to Pittsburgh for games. Tickets to all remaining games can be purchased by calling 412-397-4949 or visiting www.rmucolonials.com.