STORRS, Conn. – Jan. 21, 2012 – Cody Crichton and Trevor Lewis scored third-period goals to rally the Robert Morris men’s hockey team to a 2-1 comeback win over Connecticut on Saturday night, clinching the weekend sweep for the Colonials. The four-point series lands the Colonials one point out of the league-lead, currently split between Mercyhurst and RIT.
With a total of 35 penalty minutes handed out between the two teams over the course of Saturday’s game, special teams once again proved to be the deciding factor between Connecticut – the AHA’s top team on the advantage – and Robert Morris – the nation’s leader on the penalty kill. Although trips to the penalty box would increase as the game progressed, the first period was relatively tame with each team being whistled for just one penalty – a five-minute power-play for Robert Morris (12-9-3 overall, 10-7-1 Atlantic Hockey) early in the contest and a two-minute advantage for the Huskies to end the period both ended unsuccessfully for the respective power plays.
While both teams struggled to find chances in the penalty-filled contest, Connecticut ( 10-12-2, 9-8-1) struck first with a power-play goal from Marcello Ranallo at 12:31 of the second period. Jacob Poe assisted on the rare power-play goal against the Colonials – just the eighth power-play goal RMU has allowed all season in 110 chances.
But Robert Morris would respond in the game’s final stanza to mark the program’s second third-period rally of the season. Senior forward and RMU points leader Cody Crichton (Palgrave, Ontario / Brampton Capitals) notched his third point of the weekend with a goal 3:35 into the third period to tie up the game. The senior would add an assist on RMU’s game winner later in the period to end the night with 21 points on the year. Junior forward Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smith Falls Bears) and freshman defenseman Tyson Wilson (Brockville, Ontario / Brockville Braves) each tallied assists for their sixth and 11th points of the season, respectively.
Senior forward Trevor Lewis (Lititz, Pa. / Syracuse Stars) notched the game winner – his third point of the weekend also – just over 10 minutes later in another record-climbing performance by the Colonials captain. The power-play goal moved Lewis into a tie for sixth all-time on Robert Morris’s career points list with Jason Towsley (2005-08) with 72 while the senior also tied Towsley for fifth on RMU’s career goals list with 29. Lewis tied Towsley’s 43 career assists with a pair of helpers last night – knotting the duo at seventh on the program’s all-time assists list. Crichton and junior defenseman Brendan Jamison (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Jersey Hitmen) earned assists on the play.
Senior netminder Brooks Ostergard (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Bay State Breakers) picked up the win for the Colonials, stopping 23 of 24 shots faced to improve to 6-7-2 on the season. Garrett Bartus took the loss for Connecticut, making 31 saves as the netminder fell to 10-12-2 on the year.
Robert Morris returns to league action next weekend with a home-and-home series with Niagara. The Colonials host the Purple Eagles on Friday at 7:05 p.m. in Clearview Arena and the RMU Island Sports Center before hitting the road for the weekend finale on Saturday.
Colonial Notes: Robert Morris outshot the Huskies in all three periods to hold a 33-24 advantage overall…Saturday’s win marks the 99th win in program history (all under head coach Derek Schooley)…Robert Morris is now 4-0-0 all-time against Connecticut.
-Robert Morris University, 2013 NCAA® Frozen Four® Host Institution-