|Colonials Downed by Air Force in Home Opener|
Pittsburgh, Pa. - The Robert Morris University men's ice hockey team opened up its home portion of the schedule with a 4-1 defeat against Air Force on Saturday evening. A sellout crowd of 1,239 saw the Colonials come within a goal of the Falcons with 5:51 remaining in the game before allowing two empty-net goals.
Air Force would open the scoring at 16:18 of the first period while on the power play. The Falcons would work the puck around the points and eventually to the right circle where a shot would beat goaltender Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings). RMU would be outshot in the period 15-3 while going 0-1 on the power play.
In the second period, Air Force would capitalize on another power-play opportunity to double its lead. A cross-crease pass from below the circle avoided two Colonial defenders as it was tapped-in for the goal at the 1:34 mark of the period. With just under four minutes remaining, Robert Morris would lose assistant captain Tyler Hinds (Orleans, Ontario / Nepean Raiders) after he was whistled for a checking from behind penalty. The Falcons would be unable to capitalize on the ensuing power play.
With just over five minutes remaining in the third period, Robert Morris would cut its deficit in half as David Friedmann (Toronto, Ontario / Toronto Jr. Canadiens) corralled a loose dump-in and took the puck to his backhand for the goal to break the Air Force shutout. The dump-in by Jeff Jones (Revelstoke, British Columbia / Merritt Centennials) came from a breakout pass by Chase Golightly (Temecula, Calif. / Prince George Spruce Kings). The assist by Golightly was the first point of his collegiate career. With the goaltender pulled in the final two minutes of regulation, Air Force would add two more goals to make the final score 4-1.
Robert Morris would end the night 0-4 on the power play while allowing Air Force to capitalize on two of their four attempts. Levine ended the night making 26 saves while taking his second loss of the season. The Colonials managed 23 shots on goal as Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smiths Falls Bears) and Greg Gibson (Burlington, Ontario / Amarillo Bulls) each registered four shots on the Falcon net minder. Defenseman Evan Renwick (Calgary, Alberta / Canmore Eagles) blocked six shots in front of Levine.
The Colonials will remain home for a two-game series against Bentley on November 2nd and 3rd. The series will serve as the team’s Men’s Cancer Awareness Weekend after the team found out that former captain Chris Kushneriuk was diagnosed with cancer over the summer. The team will be doing multiple fundraisers including a silent auction, selling “RMU Hockey Krushes Cancer” wristbands, a post-game autograph session, and a collection jar during the weekend series to benefit Chris as well as cancer research. Both games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m.