PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Jan. 13, 2012 – Cody Crichton didn’t wait long to give the Robert Morris men’s hockey team its first overtime win of the season on Friday night, scoring the game winner just 30 seconds into the extra session to give the Colonials a 4-3 overtime win over Holy Cross. The victory snaps a three-game winless streak for RMU and moves the Colonials into second place in the Atlantic Hockey Association – one point behind league-leading Mercyhurst.
“It was a good win for us…a good character win,” Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley said. “Holy Cross had a lot of momentum at the end and gave us a real good fight, but those are two very big points for us in the standings.”
It was another team effort for the Colonials (10-8-3 overall, 8-3-3 Atlantic Hockey) as seven different skaters tallied a point including a three-assist performance from senior forward Trevor Lewis (Lilitz, Pa. / Syracuse Stars), a two-goal showing from freshman forward Cody Wydo (Allen Park, Mich. / Motor City Metal Jackets) and a two-point game from Crichton (Palgrave, Ontario / Brampton Capitals).
Wydo opened the night with his 10th goal of the year 7:31 into the night to give the Colonials a 1-0 lead after being set up by Lewis in front of the net. The freshman would add his second of the night at 15:25 of the second period when Lewis and Crichton fed the newcomer off a draw in the offensive zone. The two-goal night moved Wydo into a tie for second among all Division I rookies with 11 goals on the year – just one score behind Minnesota’s Kyle Rau for the national lead – and makes him the second freshman in Robert Morris history to reach the 10 goal plateau. Wydo needs two goals to match Chris Margott (2005-08) for the program’s freshman goal scoring title.
Senior defenseman Josh Jones (Scenery Hill, Pa. /Hawkesbury Hawks) would notch his first goal of the year in between Wydo’s score –slipping an attempt from the slot past Thomas Tysowsky in net for the Crusaders at 10:49 of the second. Jones, who entered the night as the AHA’s leader in plus-minus, would add to that lead on Friday and now sits at plus-14 on the year. Senior forwards Tom Brooks (St. Louis, Mo. / St. Louis Bandits) and Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smith Falls Bears) set up the goal.
Holy Cross (9-10-1, 7-5-1) would rally from the 3-1 hole with a pair of goals from Erik Vos in the third period to force overtime, but Crichton snapped an eight-game goal drought just 30 seconds into the added stanza when he ripped a wrist shot off the cross bar and in for his fourth goal and team-leading 17th point of the season. Senior defenseman James Lyle (Nepean, Ontario / Smith Falls Bears) and Lewis tallied helpers on the game winner. The three-assist night for Lewis vaulted the senior from ninth on RMU’s all-time career points list to seventh with 69 – passing Doug Conley’s (2004-06) mark of 67 and Chris Kushneriuk (2008-10) with 68. Lewis, who also tied Kushneriuk for eighth all-time at RMU with 41 assists, needs three more points to match Jason Towsley (2005-08) for seventh on the career points list while two assists will match Towsley’s career mark of 43 – the seventh most in program history.
On the other end of the ice, junior goaltender Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings) and the Colonials defense kept RMU in the hunt for its first win of 2012. Levine (5-2-1) made 31 saves and set a personal best with his fifth win of the season. The junior has made 31 or more saves in each of his last three games – an unbeaten span for the netminder that dates back to Nov. 5.
The Colonials return to action Saturday night with the series finale against Holy Cross at 7:05 p.m.
-Robert Morris University, 2013 NCAA® Frozen Four® Host Institution-