|RMU Rolls to 8-0 Win in Colontino’s Debut|
Pittsburgh, Pa. - The Robert Morris University women's hockey team ensured that first-year mentor Paul Colontino's collegiate head-coaching debut would be a memorable one as the Colonials rolled to an impressive 8-0 victory over visiting Lindenwood Friday evening in their 2011-12 regular-season opener at the RMU Island Sports Center.
Colontino, hired this past June, earned his first win with ease as Robert Morris already held a 4-0 lead after just 27 minutes of action. Three different Colonials, including two freshmen, significantly aided Colontino's cause by each contributing a trio of points.
Freshman Rebecca Vint (Caledon, Ontario / Brampton Junior Thunder) also had a unforgettable collegiate debut as she became the first Colonial rookie in program history to have a multi-goal game in a season opener. Vint tallied two goals and an assist while classmate Katie Fergus (Oakville, Ontario / Burlington Jr. Barracudas) and sophomore Thea Imbrogno (Etobicoke, Ontario / Mississauga Jr. Chiefs) each tallied one score and two helpers. Imbrogno's three-point night marked her second-consecutive season opener in which she notched a trio of points.
The eight-goal output is tied for the fifth-best in program history, and the shutout was the first for RMU either at home or in non-conference play since the 2008-09 season.
Junior defenseman Jamie Joslin (Richmond Hill, Ontario / Aurora Panthers) notched her second-career multi-point game, and the first since her freshman campaign, with a goal and an assist. Along with Fergus and Vint, local product Chelsea Burdzy (Imperial, Pa. / Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) also earned her first-collegiate point Friday night by providing the game-winning assist.
Junior netminder Kristen DiCiocco (Niagara Falls, Ontario / Stoney Creek Jr. Sabres) tallied her first-career shutout as she went the distance in net and stopped every Lindenwood attempt in her direction, including holding the Lady Lions scoreless on a significant 5-on-3 advantage.
Robert Morris was not in a great position from the outset as the Colonials were whistled for a penalty fewer than four minutes into the contest. The penalty-killing unit and DiCiocco held firm, though, holding Lindenwood without many great chances, and the Colonials struck first not long after the man-advantage ended. Burdzy battled for and won the puck below the goal line and fed junior Courtney Langston (Warrensburgh, Mo. / Shattuck St. Mary's) who banged it home from right in front of the crease for RMU's first tally of the season.
It didn't take long for the Colonials to double their lead as more rookies got in on the action. Fergus circled around the net and sent the puck to an awaiting Kylie St. Louis (Windsor, Ontario / Southwest Wildcats) at the point. St. Louis' blast was saved, but its power forced a rebound to pop up in the air, and Vint alertly took a baseball-style swing and swatted it home top shelf.
Lindenwood was given a chance to get back into the proceedings in the closing minutes of the period when two Colonials were given penalties, resulting in a 57-second, two-man advantage. Robert Morris again responded brilliantly when playing shorthanded as the Colonials did not allow a single shot attempt during the 5-on-3 and only permitted one during the 3:03 power play time, helping to maintain a two-goal edge after the opening 20 minutes.
The Colonials wasted no time at all in adding to their lead in the second stanza, scoring just 19 seconds in, as Imbrogno found the twine from right in front after receiving a centering pass from senior assistant captain Brianna Delaney (Stittsville, Ontario / NCCP Raiders), who had corralled Joslin's redirected blast from the point. Delaney now has a six-game point streak dating back to the end of last season.
Joslin would figure in her second goal in a span of seven minutes when she put the hosts up 4-0 courtesy of Vint and Fergus. Vint played a role in her third goal in under 31 minutes when she notched an unassisted tally at the 10:52 mark to really put the clamp down on the Lady Lions.
Robert Morris executed its delayed-penalty offense to perfection to register its sixth score of the night as the Colonials utilized the extra attacker to a long possession and an eventual score. Imbrogno dished to senior captain Paige Pietrangelo (Niagara Falls, Ontario / Hamilton Hawks) at the left point who found senior assistant captain Kathryn Stack (Edmonton, Alberta / Edmonton Thunder) at the center of the blue line, and Stack's blast rang true at the 15:30 mark, giving RMU a six-goal lead at the second intermission.
Fergus and Imbrogno made sure the fans still had something to see in the final frame as the duo hooked up for a shorthanded score. The pair broke in on a 2-on-1 when the Colonials were a player down, and Imbrogno dished across to Fergus who deftly backhanded it home. Junior Cobina Delaney (Stittsville, Ontario / Ottawa Senators) put the finishing touches on the scoring with her unassisted tally at the 13:19 mark of the third.
Robert Morris held an imposing 46-14 margin in shots on goal, approaching program bests for both shots and shots allowed. The 14 shots conceded were the fewest by an RMU squad in its past 168 games, dating to October 2006, and the third-fewest in program history. The Colonials' 46 shots on goal tied for the squad's fourth-most ever in a single game.
RMU, which held the Lady Lions to an 0-for-6 mark on the power play, has now won three of its past four season openers. Friday's effort marked both the Colonials' best scoring output and biggest margin of victory ever in a season opener.
Robert Morris will go for the series sweep Saturday afternoon as the university celebrates Homecoming Weekend. The Colonials will look for their second straight starting at 2:05 p.m.