It was the third consecutive season in which the Colonials participated in the showcase, but their first appearance at CONSOL Energy Center, the brand new arena of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Senior captain Whitney Pappas (Evergreen, Colo. / Belle Tire), senior forward Sara O'Malley (Guelph, Ontario / Hamilton Hawks) and sophomore Cobina Delaney (Stittsville, Ontario / Ottawa Senators) provided the scores for RMU. O'Malley's goal was the 40th of her career, joining Kristen Miles as the only Colonials to reach that plateau.
Northeastern struck first, opening the scoring just over three minutes into the contest when Stephanie Gavronsky found the back of the net. However, the Colonials continued their trend from Saturday's matchup of quickly responding to Husky goals by tying the game just 1:20 later.
Junior Brianna Delaney (Stittsville, Ontario / NCCP Raiders) gained control of the puck behind the Northeastern net and fed a centering pass just outside the crease to her sister, Cobina. Cobina Delaney battled in front with the Husky defense, and her efforts paid off as she was able to poke the puck past the Northeastern netminder, Florence Schelling, to even the game.
It was Cobina Delaney's third goal of the season, with Brianna having recorded an assist on all three occasions. Brianna Delaney now has registered a point in seven of her last eight contests dating back to the end of last season.
Lori Antflick put home a rebound for the Huskies with 2:29 remaining in the first to retake the lead entering the intermission.
After Northeastern held the lead for much of the second period, the Colonials evened the proceedings again. Pappas ripped a shot from the left point that deflected off a Husky defenseman, rising up into the air before making its way over Schelling's shoulder to tie the game. Sophomore Jennifer Kindret (Winnipeg, Manitoba / BC Breakers) and freshman Brandi Pollock (Virden, Manitoba / Westman Wildcats) each notched their second assist of the season on the play.
Northeastern ensured that the game would not remain tied for long, though, as Rachel Llanes knocked a rebound out of mid-air to put the Huskies back on top. The Huskies were not content with the one-goal advantage and soon found an insurance goal. After winning the puck in the neutral zone, two Husky skaters broke free on a 2-on-1 in the closing seconds of the period. Alyssa Wohlfeiler received a feed from Claire Santostefano and beat the clock by one tenth of a second to give Northeastern a 4-2 advantage heading into the second intermission.
Robert Morris put pressure on Northeastern in the third period, outshooting the Huskies 13-7 in the frame. The Colonials pulled within one with just over five minutes remaining in regulation. Sophomore Dayna Newsom (Oakville, Ontario / Oakville Ice), who recorded a game-high three points Saturday, took a shot from the left circle that redirected to O'Malley near the top of the crease. O'Malley beat Schelling in the five-hole to make it a 4-3 game.
RMU kept fighting for the equalizer and was able to earn a power play with 46 seconds to play. Once they gained control of the puck in the offensive zone, the Colonials pulled goalie Daneca Butterfield (Kronau, Saskatchewan / Notre Dame Hounds) in favor of the extra attacker. Robert Morris attempted three shots in the closing sequence but was unable to find the tying goal as Newsom's final shot went just wide of the right post.
The road will not get easier for Robert Morris as each of their next three games are on the road against teams ranked among the top two in the country. The Colonials will travel to an opponent's building for the first time this season next weekend as they take on No. 2 Cornell Friday, Oct. 22, and Saturday, Oct. 23.