|Robert Morris Rallies Twice to Take Down RIT|
Rochester, N.Y. - The Robert Morris University men's ice hockey team opened up its third year of conference play in the Atlantic Hockey Association with a 6-4 victory over RIT on Thursday evening. The Colonials were able to string together three consecutive goals twice in the game to overcome two separate RIT leads.
As both teams were skating in their first AHA contest of the season, the early portion of play would be dictated by the two getting a sense of each other. RIT would strike first at the 8:02 mark while on the power play. The Tigers would move the puck from behind the net and wrap it around under the pads of goaltender Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings). The goal would be the first allowed on the power play by the Colonials since March 3 during the first round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs against American International. With the goal, the Tigers snapped a streak of 24 consecutive penalties killed by the Robert Morris special teams.
In the second period, RIT would double their lead before the Colonials would net three goals in a span of 85 seconds. The first of the three would come off the stick of Cody Wydo (Southgate, Mich. / Motor City Metal Jackets) at the 11:30 mark. An initial shot by Jimmy Geerin (Anchorage, Alaska / Burnaby Express) would deflect off of the stick of Adam Brace (Cobden, Ontario / Canisius) before deflecting off of Wydo’s stick as it made its way past the Tigers goaltender. The game-tying goal would come 40 seconds later as Colin South (Sewickley, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) would net his first of two goals at 12:10 of the period. South would be set up on the play by line mates Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smiths Falls Bears) and Jeff Jones (Revelstoke, British Columbia / Merritt Centennials). Capping off the scoring binge was Scott Jacklin (Kimberley, British Columbia / Trail Smoke Eaters) who was the recipient of a cross-ice pass by Brace after Wydo possessed the puck into the attacking zone. The goal at 12:55 of the second period would give RMU the advantage on the scoreboard through the second intermission.
Down, but not out, RIT would respond in the third period as they battled back and netted two consecutive goals to retake the lead 4-3 with 15:10 remaining in the contest. With less than nine minutes remaining in the game, South would tie the game again as his second goal came from a behind-the-net pass by Jones. The goal came after the Colonials possessed the puck and cycled possession along the boards. With both teams looking for the go-ahead goal, Jones stepped into the spotlight as he finished off a pass from Hervato with less than five minutes remaining. To cap off the game in the final minute, Hervato would net his third goal in a two-game span as South fed him with a pass coming down the left side of the ice.
In the defensive zone, the Colonials would block 17 shots while Levine made 34 saves to earn his second win of the season. The line of South-Hervato-Jones contributed four goals and six assists while combining for ten shots. Of the 39 shots-on-goal, freshman Brandon Denham (Milton, Ontario / Oakville Blades) registered eight of them. After killing the first 12 penalties committed in the season, Robert Morris allowed two power-play goals to the Tigers. All was not lost in the special-teams battle as the Colonials would tally their first power-play goal of the season with Hervato’s marker in the third period.
Robert Morris will host Air Force in its first home contest of the season this Saturday. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:05 as the game is not only Boy Scouts Night but also Skate with the Colonials after the game.