East Lansing, Mich. – Oct. 28, 2011 –The Robert Morris men’s hockey team dropped its first-ever meeting against Michigan State on Friday night, losing a 5-2 contest to the Spartans at Munn Ice Arena. Senior forward Furman South and junior forward Adam Brace tallied power-play goals for the Colonials.
The Colonials (2-4-0 overall, 0-1-0 Atlantic Hockey) entered the game with the nation’s best penalty killing unit, having successfully killed all 23 of their opponents’ opportunities heading into the weekend. But the streak would not survive the night. After Michigan State took a 1-0 lead in the first period with a goal from forward Dean Chelios, the Spartans add a pair of power-play goals midway through the second to go up 3-0. RMU would successfully kill the first five power-play opportunities by the Spartans on Friday night to bring its streak to 28-straight opportunities, but forward Greg Wolfe would end the Colonials’ streak on the next man advantage – scoring his first of two goals at 11:01. Defenseman Brock Shelgren would add a second power-play goal less than two minutes later at 13:25 for the eventual game winner. Robert Morris would end the night going 5-for-7 on the penalty kill.
RMU wouldn’t be shutout in the second stanza, however. Senior forward Furman South (Sewickley, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) would tally a power-play goal of his own – his first point of the season – at 16:15 of the second period. Senior forward Trevor Lewis (Lititz, Pa. / Syracuse Stars) and senior forward Cody Crichton (Palgrave, Ontario / Brampton Capitals) would earn assists on the goal. Lewis now leads the Colonials with six points (two goals, four assists) and has tallied a point of five of six games this season.
After the Spartans (3-4-0, 1-3-0 CCHA) pushed the lead to 4-1 at 3:04 of the third period with Wolfe’s second of the night, the Colonials would once again make it a two-goal game when junior forward Adam Brace (Cobden, Ontario / Canisius) sniped a power-play goal at 14:01 for the junior’s team-high third goal of the year. Freshman defenseman Tyson Wilson (Brockville, Ontario / Brockville Braves) and junior forward Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smith Falls Bears) would earn assists on the goal. Robert Morris would go 2-for-10 on the power play for the evening.
But it was too late for the Colonails, who were outshot 36-23 on the night. Head coach Derek Schooley would pull junior Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings) in favor of an extra attacker, but the Colonials could not mount a comeback. Forward Mike Merrifield would add a goal in the open net with 59 seconds left to seal the win for Michigan State.
Levine made 31 saves on the night and was hanged with his first loss of the season. The junior is now 2-1-0 on the year. Spartans netminder Will Yanakeff picked up the win for MSU, stopping 21 saves.
Robert Morris returns to action on Saturday night for the series finale against Michigan State. The second game of the weekend is set to start at 7:05 p.m. ET at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing.