|Levine Sets Program Record in 4-2 Victory|
Buffalo, N.Y. – The Robert Morris University men’s hockey team traveled to the state of New York for the second consecutive week as the Colonials took on Canisius College in a game that had major implications in the Atlantic Hockey standings as the two teams came in to the game separated by a single point. The Colonials would move up in the standings as they picked up two points with a 4-2 victory on Friday evening.
The Colonials would open the scoring as the freshmen Matt Cope (Lakewood, Colo. / Wenatchee Wild) and Greg Gibson (Burlington, Ontario / Amarillo Bulls) teamed up for the first goal. Cope would pick up the puck from captain Brendan Jamison (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Jersey Hitmen) and carry it in to the attacking zone along the far boards before cutting to the center of the ice. As the puck rolled off of Cope’s stick, Gibson was waiting near the front of the cage to bang home his fifth goal of the season at the 15:03 mark of the period.
Canisius would even the score in the second period as the Golden Griffins picked up a short-handed goal. After RMU failed to hold the puck in the offensive zone, the Golden Griffin forward streaked in on a breakaway to tie the game, 1-1.
Robert Morris would answer later in the second as Scott Jacklin (Kimberley, British Columbia / Trail Smoke Eaters) would pick up his ninth goal of the season. After a scrum in front of the benches, Tyler Hinds (Orleans, Ontario / Nepean Raiders) came away with the puck and provided an outlet pass to Jacklin who attacked with an odd-man rush. Skating in on a 2-on-1, Jacklin held the puck long enough to freeze the goaltender and snap a shot over the shoulder as the Colonials regained the lead.
Just 53 seconds after Jacklin’s tally, Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smiths Falls Bears) would make the score 3-1 with his eleventh goal of his senior season. With RMU pressing on the fore-check, Hervato and Jay Llewelyn (Saginaw, Mich. / Carleton Place Canadians) came together and sandwiched a Canisius defender in front of the cage. The hit caused the defender to lose control of the puck which snuck its way through the Golden Griffin netminder and crossed the line for a two-goal advantage that the Colonials would carry in to the locker room after two periods of play.
RMU would add to its lead in the third period as sophomore Cody Wydo (Southgate, Mich. / Motor City Metal Jackets) netted his third shorthanded goal of the season. Picking off a breakout pass by the Golden Griffins, Wydo would come in on a breakaway and give the Colonials a 4-1 lead with fourteen minutes remaining. With his goal, Wydo is now tied with teammate Adam Brace (Cobden, Ontario / Canisius College) as both forwards at atop the NCAA leaderboard along with four other players that all have three shorthanded goals this season.
With nine minutes remaining in the game, Canisius would switch goaltenders making it the second consecutive game that the Colonials have chased the starting goalie for the Golden Griffins. With 73 seconds remaining in the game, Cansius would make the score 4-2 before the final horn would blow.
Picking up a program record sixteenth win of the season, goaltender Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings) made 41 saves including eighteen in the third period to improve his record to 16-10-2 this season. Levine has made 40 or more saves in eight games this season and has compiled a record of 6-1-1 in those games. The Colonials have been getting contributions from all lines as Cope, Hervato, Jacklin, and Wydo are all in the midst of three-game point streaks.
When all was said and done in Atlantic Hockey on Friday night, the Colonials moved in to a tie for fifth place with Holy Cross as both teams have 25 points. Robert Morris now sits a point out of third place as Connecticut and Mercyhurst each have 26 points in the third place position. The Colonials return to action tomorrow evening as they conclude the home-and-home series against Canisius at the 84 Lumber Arena; faceoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.