NEVILLE TWP., Pa– In one of the more bizarre periods and games in recent memory at Colonials Arena, the Penn State Nittany Lions managed to bury chance after chance against Robert Morris, defeating the Colonials 11-6.
Each team recorded three goals in the first period en-route to a high-scoring tie at the end of the frame, exchanging opportunity after opportunity.
Then the wheels fell off for the Colonials in the second.
Sometimes it just goes awry, and tonight was one of those nights at the Island Sports Center for the Robert Morris Colonials. The Lions, who set the pace and tone for the majority of the game, rattled off four goals in the second half of the middle frame and seven straight tallies on the score sheet.
It was a game that saw the Colonials put up their highest offensive output of the season, but also saw them give up a record breaking amount of pucks in the net.
“We did some good things,” Colonial head coach Derek Schooley said. “We put six up on the board. When you score six you should win and we made some mistakes that ended up in our net, but the elephant in the room is that we need better goaltending. I’m trying to digest this a little bit because of how weird a weekend this was. We have to evaluate it and go back and look at it. “You put your heart and soul into it and you think you’re pretty good and we end up giving up 18 goals.”
The Lions once again brought a balanced attack as 10 players turned in multiple point nights, including Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick Nikita Pavlychev.
“What we’ve been looking for this year has been all four lines being able to produce and it’s been very helpful when it comes to winning games,” Pavlychev said. “We have a deep squad both offensively and defensively and hopefully we can keep going and winning games.”
With the losses, The Colonials record sank to 3-6-1 on the season as they head towards a very much welcomed bye week.
COLONIALS OFFENSE BREAKS OUT
Two bright spots came to light for Robert Morris as an offense that had yet to yield more than three goals in a game this season came to life, and early on kept the Colonials neck and neck with the Nittany Lions on the scoreboard. Luke Lynch was off and running when he tied the game at 3:36 of the first period, finishing a shorthanded two on one for his second goal of the season. Senior forward Alex Tonge provided the assist on the tally and it would be the first of four points on the night.
Tonge managed to dent twine to the tune of a hat trick, figuring in on the goals that answered each Nittany Lions goal, until his team ran out of answers. It was a bittersweet night for a player and alternate captain who’d rather had the win opposed a personal highlight.
“We’re gonna keep doing what we’re doing,” a solemn Tonge said post game. “We’re gonna take Monday off, everyone’s going to gather their thoughts and work the rest of the week and make sure this never happens again.”
GOALTENDING SUFFERS ROUGH WEEKEND
The Colonials surrendered 18 goals on the weekend, and several of them where tallies that either net minder would like to have back. Both Francis Marotte and freshman Reid Cooper rotated throughout the game, each spending time twice in net. Each saw approximately half a game of action and were both faced with a rapid fire shooting gallery from the Lions who managed 46 shots on the night.
Robert Morris is heading into a bye week, as a home-and-home with Atlantic Hockey foe Mercyhurst looms Nov. 23-24. The Colonials will host the Lakers at Colonials Arena on Black Friday at 7:05 p.m. before heading to the Mercyhurst Ice Center the following night.