The Robert Morris Colonials loaded up the sleeper bus this week for a lengthy road trip to an arena and an opponent that have been a tough win for them over the years. The Bentley Falcons await the Colonials arrival and will be facing a team that has a great deal of confidence as they follow up one of their best performances of the season, a home sweep of the AIC Yellow Jackets- winners of three straight coming in.
“We’ve just been working harder on being better in our own end,” head coach Derek Schooley explained. “I think what we saw this past weekend was a by product of the work we’ve been doing in practice and as I’ve been saying, we’ve been getting better every week in everything we do with and without the puck and hopefully it carries over to this weekend.”
Aside from the defensive gems the Colonials put together last weekend, the power play took another giant leap forward by going four for seven with four different goal scorers lighting the lamp. Among those was Brady Ferguson who found the net on Saturday night with a well placed, goal scorer’s goal- a key component of what he’s brought to the Colonials offensive attack over the years.
“I just think guys are more comfortable, guys are reading off each other, we got contributions from our so called second unit but if they keep producing like they keep producing is like we have two number one units,” said Schooley. “We also got a big goal from Brady Ferguson too. I just think they’re getting more comfortable in their spots, they’re figuring out their reads and know exactly what to do.”
Scouting The Falcons
Bentley comes in with a mark of 1-7-3 on the year, a mark that doesn’t even comes close to measuring how they’ve played, recently losing a few close contests to very good opponents. The Falcons have had a bit of a rough time putting pucks in the net on a consistent basis so far this season, but could be due to see some of their own puck luck come around.
They’ve also got the firepower to flip the switch. Forwards Kyle Schmidt and Jonathan Desbiens as well as defensemen Tanner Jago represent three very talented scoring threats, while goaltender Jayson Argue has always been a tough beat for the Colonials over the course of his career. Their record has not been an indicator of how they can play- they still pose the same tough challenge they always have for the Colonials.
“They’re always very good offensively and they’ve always skated very well and they’re going to get up and down the rink.” Schooley said. “The John A. Ryan Arena is a tough place to play and we haven’t had a lot of success there. I think we need to make sure we’re prepared to play right off the bat and we’re prepared to do everything that we did this past weekend and know that they’re not indicative of their record. They’ve got some very good players, they’ve got very good goaltenders, and they’re looking for a spark to put it together, kind of like we were looking for last weekend.”
Wins are earned from a collective effort of players who make the score sheet with regularity and some who do excellent work both with and without the puck. Senior Timmy Moore plays both with and without the puck with the same passion and energy, regardless the game situation is and his weekend against AIC was further evidence of that as he energized his team with hits, provided scoring chances and blocked shots seemingly all weekend long, doing work that doesn’t always stand out to some, but to those paying attention, was a key component of the team’s success.
“I thought Timmy Moore was the unsung player of the weekend.” Schooley aid. He opened the weekend with a big hit, he won battles, took pucks to the net and did a lot of good things down low. Whether or not he ends up on the score sheet or not, Timmy’s a catalyst for this hockey team. He leads by example and through his work ethic. He blocks shots and does a lot of things well so I think how he goes, our team goes. He brings a lot of leadership and maturity as a senior.”
If there were ever a weekend for the Colonials to come away with their first sweep of Bentley on the road, this would seem to be it. The Falcons will be hungry and will be looking for a big home weekend themselves. It’s one thing to be hungry, it is another to want that and have the players to do something about it- which Bentley does. That being said, the Colonials should keep their string of good efforts intact and come away with a 2-2 tie on Friday night and a 4-2 win on Saturday.