PITTSBURGH, Pa. – March 4, 2012 –Brandon Blandina scored just over two minutes into overtime on Sunday night to propel the Robert Morris men’s hockey team in the Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinals next weekend as the Colonials picked up a 4-3 overtime win over American International. Robert Morris will now travel to Niagara for a best-of-three series starting next Friday.
“I thought we played well all night, and credit our guys for not giving up when AIC bounced back. They did everything we asked them to, and they deserved to get that win tonight,” RMU head coach Derek Schooley said. “We’ll celebrate this win tonight, and come back tomorrow to get ready for Niagara next weekend.”
On a night when Robert Morris set a new school record with 58 shots on goal, the final shot proved to be the most important. Blandina (Centennial, Colo. / Indiana Ice) scored his fourth of the year on RMU’s first and only shot of the overtime period. Senior forward Ron Cramer (New Wilmington, Pa. / Indiana Ice) and junior forward Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smith Falls Bears) set up the goal at 2:13 of the added session.
Robert Morris (17-15-5) jumped out to a strong three-goal lead with a goal in each period of regulation. Sophomore forward Colin South (Sewickley, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) nabbed his ninth goal of the season on a short-handed attempt just 2:36 into the first period after being set up by senior defenseman James Lyle (Nepean, Ontario / Smith Falls Bears). Senior forward Nick Chiavetta (Harrisburg, Pa. / New York Applecore) would make it a two-goal game with a power-play tally at 8:01 of the second period after freshman forward Scott Jacklin (Kimberley, British Columbia / Trail Smoke Eaters) and senior forward Trevor Lewis (Lititz, Pa. / Syracuse Stars) set up the goal.
The trio would also set up RMU’s final goal in regulation at 3:34 of the third period – this time with Chiavetta and Lewis setting up the Colonials newcomer with a power-play goal for his ninth of the season. The trio would pace Robert Morris in the win while Lewis would end the weekend with eight points (one goal, seven assists). Nine of the senior captain’s 29 points this season came in five meetings with AIC.
AIC (8-26-3) would make a game of it, however, in the third period when Nielsson Arcibal notched three-straight goals for a hat trick including a game-saving tally with 11 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. But Robert Morris would remain unblemished in overtime this year (3-0-5) after Blandina’s game winner. The Colonials would outshoot the Yellow Jackets 58-29 overall and hold advantages in every period except overtime (1-1).
Senior Brooks Ostergard (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Bay State BreakerS) (11-11-4) picked up the win for Robert Morris with a 26-save performance. Ostergard helped RMU advance out of the Colonials’ first-ever playoff series after helping the team earn its first-ever Atlantic Hockey playoff win and first home playoff win on Friday night. Ben Meisneer (8-22-3) took the loss for AIC, making 54 saves.
The Colonials will now travel to Niagara for next weekend’s AHA quarterfinals. The best-of-three series kicks off Friday night. Continue checking RMUColonials.com for updates.
-Robert Morris University, Host Institution of the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four at Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy Center -