|Special Teams Performance Leads RMU to Victory|
Columbus, Ohio - The Robert Morris University men's ice hockey team wrapped up a five-game road trip with a contest against Ohio State on Friday evening. Behind a solid outing by the special teams of the Colonials, RMU would take the first game of the home-and-home series, 3-2.
Ohio State would pick up the first goal of the game as the Buckeyes would cycle the puck before getting a shot off from the near circle. The shot would find its way behind goaltender Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings) just 1:51 in to the first period. While the Colonials would be held scoreless on their four power play attempts in the period, they would end the frame tied after a goal with less than a minute remaining. With 34.4 seconds left in the period, defenseman Andrew Blazek (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Topeka Roadrunners) would walk his way down the center of the offensive zone and get off a snapshot that would beat the Buckeye goaltender through the legs. Assisting on the goal would be senior Adam Brace (Cobden, Ontario / Canisius College) as the forward would wind his way behind the net to create space for the pass leading to Blazek’s second goal in as many games.
While on the power play in the opening minutes of the second period, Ohio State would regain the lead after a deflection in front of Levine would find the back of the cage. The power-play goal seventy seconds in to the period would be the first allowed by the Colonials after killing all thirteen opportunities in the most recent series against Holy Cross. The Colonials would find themselves in penalty trouble as freshman Greg Gibson (Burlington, Ontario / Amarillo Bulls) would receive a major and game misconduct for contact to the head at the 2:10 mark of the period. RMU would fortify the defensive zone and not allow the Buckeyes to produce a second power-play goal during the five-minute penalty. The Colonials would have to kill off another major penalty after forward Brandon Denham (Milton, Ontario / Oakville Blades) would receive a major and game disqualification for excessive roughing at the 14:24 mark of the second period. While on the penalty kill, Brace would find himself walking in all alone as he deked to his forehand and went top shelf on the Ohio State netminder. Robert Morris would again buckle down on the penalty kill before Ohio State would end the power play by taking their own penalty. As the period came to an end, the Colonials would have an abbreviated power play of their own that expired the same time as the second period.
The Colonials would have their own five-minute power play just 43 seconds in to the period as Ohio State was whistled for a checking from behind penalty. Robert Morris would not capitalize with te man advantage and then would have to kill off a penalty of their own. The Colonials would then go back on the man advantage after the Buckeyes would commit a tripping infraction. While on the power play, sophomore Jeff Jones (Revelstoke, British Columbia / Merritt Centennials) would knock a clearing attempt out of the air and quickly dish a pass to Scott Jacklin (Kimberley, British Columbia / Trail Smoke Eaters) would slide the puck past the flailing Buckeye goalie. The power-play goal at eight minutes of the period would give the Colonials their first lead of the game. Robert Morris would hold on to that lead as Levine and the rest of the Colonials would protect the area in front of the crease while not allowing the Buckeyes many second chances.
Making his third consecutive start, Levine would stop 43 of the 45 shots he faced from the Buckeyes as the goaltender improved his record to 5-2-1 on the season. Junior Colin South (Sewickley, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) would lead the Colonials with six of the 27 team’s shots on goal.
The two teams will face off again tomorrow night at the Island Sports Center with puck drop at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available through the Robert Morris Ticket Office which can be reached at (412) 397-4949 or on rmucolonials.com