|Colonial Comeback Effort Falls Short|
Pittsburgh, Pa. - As the Colonial comeback effort in the third period fell short, the Robert Morris University women's hockey team dropped its first game of the series with College Hockey America (CHA) opponent Syracuse, 3-2 Friday afternoon at the RMU Island Sports Center.
Syracuse scored the opening goal of the contest just before the halfway point of the first period. Sophomore forward Nicole Ferrara scored the first Orange goal with assists from senior forward Holly Carrie-Mattimoe and sophomore forward Julie Knerr.
Less than five minutes later, RMU returned the favor to tie the contest 1-1 with 6:55 remaining in the first period. Freshman forward Ashley Vesci (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Lawrence Academy) found sophomore forward Rebecca Vint (Caledon, Ontario / Brampton Jr. Thunder) for a backhanded shot on net that was saved by Syracuse goalie Kallie Billadeau. Junior assistant captain Thea Imbrogno (Etobicoke, Ontario / Mississauga Jr. Chiefs) nailed home to rebound into the top of the cage for the first Colonial score. The goal is the seventh of the season for Imbrogno while the assist is the 13th for Vint. Vesci's assists marks the first of her freshman campaign.
The second period proved to be the most successful for the Orange as they scored two goals in under three minutes. The first Syracuse goal was just 49 seconds into second period. Freshman forward Melissa Piacentini scored her ninth goal of the season, unassisted to put Syracuse ahead, 2-1.
Another unassisted score for Syracuse 2:07 later would put the Orange up 3-2. The third Syracuse goal was scored by Ferrara for her second goal of the contest and eventual game-winner. Both of Syracuse goals in the second came on coincidental penalties with each team having four skaters on the ice.
At 14:44 of the third period, senior assistant captain Cobina Delaney (Stittsville, Ontario / Ottawa Jr. Senators) scored to bring the Colonials within one of the Orange. On an RMU breakaway after a pass from Vint, senior defenseman Jamie Joslin (Richmond Hill, Ontario / Aurora Panthers) blasted the initial shot on net that allowed the Delaney rebounded for her fourth goal of the season. The assist marks the eighth of the season for Joslin and the 14th for Vint, her second of the game.
The Colonial comeback effort fell short as time expired in the third period. The RMU penalty kill unit went a perfect 5-5 on the afternoon. The defensive unit ranks eighth nationally with a kill percentage of 85.9. RMU outshot Syracuse 33-32 in the loss.
Senior netminder Kristen DiCiocco (Niagara Falls, Ontario / Stoney Creek Jr. Sabres) earned the start in net for Robert Morris. DiCiocco stopped 29 of the 32 shots she faced. In league games this season, DiCiocco owns a .923 save percentage with a 2.16 goals against average.
Robert Morris and Syracuse will faceoff tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 2 in a rematch contest at the RMU Island Sports Center. Puck drop is slatted for 3:05 p.m.