|Colonials Complete Sweep of No. 4 Mercyhurst|
Pittsburgh, Pa. - The Robert Morris University women's hockey team completed its sweep of No. 4 Mercyhurst Saturday, 2-1 at the RMU Island Sports Center. The sweep gives the Colonials a four game unbeaten streak against the Lakers. The sweep of Mercyhurst is the first in RMU program history and is also the first time RMU has swept an opponent ranked in the national top-ten.
The Colonials were led by senior goaltender Kristen DiCiocco (Niagara Falls, Ontario / Stoney Creek Jr. Sabres) as she allowed only one goal on 41 shots. The 40-save performance marks a season high for DiCiocco and is her fifth contest with at least 30 saves this season.
In the first period of action, RMU nor Mercyhurst could capitalize on their scoring chances as the Lakers outshot RMU. DiCiocco registered 20 saves in the first frame, just two short of her career-high for saves in a period. The RMU penalty kill unit continued its suffocating defensive play as it killed both of the Lakers power play opportunities in the opening frame.
The second period proved to be the most successful for the Colonials as they scored two goals within 2:24. On the first RMU power play opportunity of the contest, senior captain Dayna Newsom (Oakville, Ontario / Oakville Ice) scored just 16 seconds into the power play to put RMU ahead, 1-0. The power play goal is the first of the season for the forward. Senior assistant captain Jamie Joslin (Richmond Hill, Ontario / Aurora Panthers) put the initial shot on goal that led to a scuffle in front of the net. Newsom found the net after a rebounded shot from senior forward Jennifer Kindret (Winnipeg, Manitoba / BC Breakers). The assist is the sixth of the season for Joslin and the third for Kindret.
With 6:05 on the clock, RMU would score its second power play goal of the game to go ahead, 2-0. Junior assistant captain Thea Imbrogno (Etobicoke, Ontario / Mississauga Jr. Chiefs) put home a rebounded shot from sophomore forward Katie Fergus (Oakville, Ontario / Burlington Jr. Barracudas). The power play goal is the third of the season for Imbrogno, fifth overall. The game-winning goal is also the first of the season for Imbrogno. Sophomore forward Rebecca Vint (Caledon, Ontario / Brampton Jr. Thunder) received the secondary assist on the second RMU goal. The assists mark the third and tenth of the year for Fergus and Vint.
The Colonial power play team went 2-4 in the second period while the RMU penalty kill unit denied Mercyhurst's two power play opportunities.
After a scoreless first half of the third period, Mercyhurst would find the net to come within one of RMU at 14:21 of the final frame. Sophomore forward Shelby Bram put home the power play score for the Lakers while junior forwards Christie Cicero and Christine Bestland tallied the assists. For the remainder of the final period, the Colonial defense held off the Lakers to earn the victory.
Throughout tonight's contest, the Colonials combined to block 29 shots registering a new season high for shots blocked in a single contest. In the two game series, the RMU penalty kill unit went 10-11 against Mercyhurst who came into the series with a .287 power play conversion percentage.
RMU handed Mercyhurst just its third loss this season and its first series in which the Lakers have been swept all season. The Colonials also gave Mercyhurst goaltender Stephanie Ciampa her first loss of the year. In the series the Colonials averaged 2.5 goals per game while the Lakers only scored one goal in each contest. Four of RMU's five goals came on the power play against Mercyhurst's penalty kill squad that owned a .849 kill percentage.
The victory in this evening's contest marks the 8th of the season for DiCiocco. The senior now owns an overall record of 8-3-2 and a College Hockey America (CHA) record of 4-1-0. DiCiocco has registered 323 saves thus far this season along with a .926 save percentage.
The Colonials now hold an overall record of 9-3-2 and is 5-1-0 in league play.
Robert Morris will take a few weeks off for the holiday season before returning to action Fri., January 4th and Sat., January 5th at the RMU Island Sports Center as the Colonials welcome CHA member RIT. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. Friday and 2:05 p.m. on Saturday.