|Colonials Advance to Quarterfinals with 20th Win|
Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Robert Morris University men’s hockey team closed out the first round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs with a sweep of the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Saturday night. The 6-1 victory would be the 20th win of the season for the Colonials who will now travel to Connecticut next weekend for a quarterfinal series.
The Colonials opened up the scoring when junior forward Colin South (Sewickley, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) buried a rebound off his original shot which deflected off the post. The play was set up by senior forward Adam Brace (Cobden, Ontario / Canisius College) who carried the puck behind the net off the rush to feed the wide open South for the 1-0 lead.
The Pioneers would tie the game late in the first period when a deflected shot found its way past goaltender Eric Levine (Wheeling, Ill. / Pembroke Lumber Kings). The period would end with the score deadlocked, 1-1 as the Colonials outshot Sacred Heart, 16-12.
The Colonials pulled away from the Pioneers in the second as they registered three goals. Robert Morris regained the lead less than three minutes in to the second period when assistant captain Tyler Hinds (Orleans, Ontario / Nepean Raiders) blasted a shot from the blue line.
Six minutes in to the period, sophomore forward Cody Wydo (Southgate, Mich. / Motor City Metal Jackets) increased the lead as he deflected a pass from linemate Scott Jacklin (Kimberley, British Columbia / Trail Smoke Eaters) past the Pioneer goaltender. With the goal, Wydo collected his 50th career point in only 70 games played for the Colonials.
The Colonials picked up their third goal of the period when freshman forward Matt Cope (Lakewood, Colo. / Wenatchee Wild) snapped a shot high blocker side past the Pioneer goaltender. Freshman forward Zac Lynch (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) picked up an assist after he intercepted a breakout pass and fed Cope in the slot. The period would come to an end with RMU holding a 4-1 lead.
The Colonials increased their lead halfway through the third period when Wydo added his second goal of the contest. Brace added his fourth assist of the game when he slid the pack across the crease to Wydo. Hinds also added an assist on the play.
With a little over five minutes remaining freshman forward Greg Gibson (Burlington, Ontario / Amarillo Bulls) gave the Colonials a five-goal lead with a wrist shot that beat the Pioneer goaltender glove side. Junior defenseman Evan Renwick (Calgary, Alberta / Canmore Eagles) picked up an assist after making a backhanded pass to Gibson. Cope also picked up an assist on the play.
Wydo’s two goals gives him 19 for the season and 32 in his time with the Colonials, the fifth most in program history. With his four assists, Brace now has 40 points on the season and 91 points as a Colonial which slots him fourth all-time at Robert Morris. The Colonials played another solid defensive game, registering 19 blocked shots and killing all four of the Pioneer power plays. Levine picked up win number 19 behind a 22-save performance.
With the win tonight and the sweep of the Pioneers in the first-round series, Robert Morris has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs and will now travel to Connecticut next weekend.