NEVILLE TWP., Pa. — A mix of timely goals and saves plus a determined effort in all three zones were in the recipe of a 3-1 Colonials victory on Friday night. A third period penalty killing effort in which they managed to thwart the Mercyhurst Laker power play six times, including a major penalty in the waning minutes cemented the victory.
For the Colonials, the plan was simple- get pucks deep, create chances and capitalize while limiting opportunities the other way. One big factor in the win was forward Jacob Coleman’s second period goal, a deflection of a Nick Jenny shot that proved to be the game-winner. Coleman and line mates Justin Addamo and Luke Lynch proved a force to be reckoned with as they were tough to dislodge from the puck seemingly all game and kept extended shifts going on several occasions.
Freshman Aidan Spellacy’s goal in the first got the Colonials off and running with a hard shot from the slot 11:07 into period one for his second goal of the season. Meanwhile, Eric Israel added a third goal which he appeared to bat out of mid air to give his side an insurance tally with just 1.5 seconds remaining in the second period.
“They run kind of a trap in the neutral zone,” Coleman said. “So we knew we had to get pucks deep and once we did I think we worked well below the goal line and we found defensemen up top or whether it was guys in the soft areas. It was definitely part of what we were trying to do and I think it turned out pretty well.”
ONLY ONE FOR NO. 1
The effort in the net kept the Lakers frustrated throughout nearly 60 minutes of hockey as Francis Marotte managed 32 saves on 33 shots in collecting his fourth win of the campaign. It was a solid effort from the junior net minder that saw him play with confidence and poise. Marotte looked completely comfortable with the glove and was in position all game long to simply let pucks bounce off him for a cover and stoppage of play, or move along at his whim.
“I felt good and kept it simple,” Marotte said. “Obviously we had two weeks off so it was all about going in there and making the first save, then next one and keep rolling with it and that’s what I did. I think we made some mistakes but we covered them up. Giving up one goal is good against Mercyhurst so I think we’re going into tomorrow pretty confident.”
ONE TO GO
The Colonials will look to complete a sweep for the first time this season on Saturday night when they travel to Erie, Pa. to close out the home-and-home. On Friday it was a solid performance that contained a lot of energy and attention to details. However, to win back to back games this weekend Robert Morris will need to find a way to limit the number of power play chances they allowed.
“We want to play with speed and we want to play heavy down low and take pucks to the net,” Colonial head coach Derek Schooley said. “I thought Spellacy, Coyne and Horsman were big when we needed them. Right off the bat we were struggling to get our legs back after an off weekend and they did a good job below the hash marks and got the first one, they provided a lot of energy and gave us a couple of shifts that we needed at that point. I really liked our second period and I liked our third when we were five on five and I liked our penalty kill. But, we killed way to many penalties in the third period. That was an immature third period, protecting a lead and having to kill half the period. We can’t do that if we expect to win.”