|No. 19 Robert Morris Splits Weekend Series at Army|
West Point, N.Y. – A 28-save third period by senior goaltender Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings) helped aid the Robert Morris University men's ice hockey team to a 4-1 victory on Saturday evening against the Army Black Knights. The 19th-ranked Colonials improved to 10-5-2 on the season as Levine rebounded from the loss suffered last night to post a 47-save victory. Three first period goals were all the offense the Colonials needed as sophomore Cody Wydo (Southgate, Mich. / Motor City Metal Jackets) registered the game-winning goal with his seventh tally of the season.
The Colonials opened the scoring early as freshman Greg Gibson (Burlington, Ontario / Amarillo Bulls) would collect his second goal of the season less than four minutes in to the opening period. The forward would collect a rebound off of a shot by fellow freshman Evan Moore (Grosse Point, Mich. / Sioux Falls Stampede) for the first goal by RMU in the two-game series. Brandon Denham (Milton, Ontario / Oakville Blades) was also credited with an assist on the goal.
The lead for Robert Morris would not last long as just over two minutes later Army would tie the score on a disputed goal. A shot from the point found its way past Levine was initially waved off by the referee. After a conference between the four officials, the Black Knights were awarded the goal that would even the game, 1-1.
Spectacular goaltending would lead to the Colonials’ second goal as Levine wound up making a save while dropping to the splits on a wrap-around. As Tyler Hinds (Orleans, Ontario / Nepean Raiders) gathered the loose puck in front of Levine, a break-out pass sprung the duo of Wydo and Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smiths Falls Bears) in to the offensive zone. A pass to Wydo in the slot from Hervato would allow the sophomore forward to step in to a shot that found its way above the glove of the Army goaltender for a 2-1 lead.
With just four seconds remaining in the period, Andrew Blazek (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Topeka Roadrunners) would give the Colonials a two-goal advantage as he picked up a loose puck in the slot and wired it in to the goal for a 3-1 lead. Jimmy Geerin (Anchorage, Alaska / Burnaby Express) and Colin South (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) would each pick up an assist on Blazek’s fifth goal of the season.
After a scoreless second period, RMU would have to kill off six penalties that accrued 8:25 of penalty kill time in the third period. Levine would make eighteen saves during the six Army man advantages that included 24 seconds of 5-on-3 play for the Black Knights.
The Colonials would pick up a fourth goal as Jeff Jones (Revelstoke, British Columbia / Merritt Centennials) would clear the puck from the defensive blue line and in to the open Army net after the Black Knights had pulled the goaltender for an extra attacker. Moore and Hervato would each pick up their second assist of the game on Jones’ empty-net goal with 61 seconds remaining.
Including the six successful penalty kills in the third period, Robert Morris held the Black Knights to a 0-for-8 night with the man advantage. The Colonials have killed off 31 consecutive penalties committed, a streak that dates back to Dec. 8 when Ohio State last scored against the RMU penalty kill.
The Colonials picked up their seventh win of the season while being outshot as Army held a 48-28 advantage in shots. Leading the way for RMU in the shot department was senior Adam Brace (Cobden, Ontario / Canisius College) who recorded five shots on goal. After registering just two blocked shots in yesterday’s loss, Robert Morris blocked thirteen shot attempts in tonight’s victory as senior captain Brendan Jamison (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Jersey Hitmen) led the way with four blocks.
Robert Morris returns to 84 Lumber Arena for the first time since Dec. 8 as the Colonials host Connecticut for two games starting on Friday, Jan. 11. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. and tickets can be obtained by calling (412) 397-4949 or visiting www.rmucolonials.com.