Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

Robert Morris

Hernandez Strikes Game Winner in wild 5-4 win over Canisius

Justin Berl/RMU Athletics
Justin Berl/RMU Athletics

Neville TWP.,PA- The Robert Morris Colonials buried their chances and showed a good deal of resiliency with a 5-4 victory over the Canisius Golden Griffins on Saturday at Clearview Arena. Freshman Randy Hernandez came through with the game winner for the second time on the young season when he beat starting goaltender Jacob Barczewski with 1:31 remaining in the third period, sealing a back and forth contest that saw the Colonials give back two separate two goal leads.

Junior Justin Addamo found the back of the net twice to lead the way for Robert Morris on the score sheet and forward Grant Hebert added a four point to the cause. In the Colonial net, senior Dyllan Lubbesmemer stopped 33 of 37 Griffin shots en route to his second win of the year. However, for all the offensive output allowed Robert Morris to accomplish on the night, there was still some things in need of cleaning up as the season progresses.

“We found a way to persevere,” Colonials head coach Derek Schooley said. “We battled a lot of adversity that game whether it was self inflicted, we just battled a lot. We have to find a way to lock a game down with a 3-1 lead or even a 4-3 lead.”

 

A Better Start

In stark contrast to Friday night’s performance, Robert Morris owned the territory and the shots early on, keeping Canisius from gaining any type of momentum.  Unlike Friday night however, the Colonials took advantage of their opportunities. Junior forward Jordan Timmons beat Barczewski on the short side upstairs for his third goal of the season to give the Colonials the early lead at 6:48 of the first. His goal was followed by even more close chances as Robert Morris ramped up an 11-4 shot disparity early on. Addamo then went to work on goal number one, coming down the right side of the offensive zone and fired a rising shot to give his team a 2-0 lead heading into the dressing room.

“We were good when we played down below the goal line and got pucks behind their defense,” Schooley remarked. “We have to make sure that’s how we play. We have to know what our identity is and we have to play to our identity. Last night we got away from our identity and tried to be too up and down. We’re not the Colonials of 2013-14 when we would out chance people because we knew we would score more. We have to make sure we buckle down more and play with the lead a little bit better.”

Last Goal Wins

Canisius then crept back in the game despite the Colonials attempts to put them away. Jami Virtanen beat Lubbesmeyer from close range on a two man advantage to cut the Colonial lead in half at 11:27 of the second period. The two teams then traded goals as Hebert deflected a hard shot from Nolan Schaeffer at 15:38 to make it a 3-1 colonial advantage. Robert Morris then squandered an opportunity to put the game even further way on a late period man advantage during a power play that saw the puck wind up on the stick of Griffin forward Simon Gravel who deposited it behind Lubbesmeyer to pull his team to a one goal deficit heading in the final twenty minutes.

“If you look at a lot of the goals we gave up this weekend it was because of neutral zone turnovers,” Schooley added.  “Once you get a 3-1 lead back you’ve got to settle down and make sure you play the right way. We only had one power play tonight and we gave up a shorthanded goal. So we had a chance when it was 3-2 to extend the lead and instead it’s 3-3.”

In the final frame, the goal trading continued until Hernandez sealed the result.

“We were good when we played down below the goal line and got pucks behind their defense,” Schooley remarked. “We have to make sure that’s how we play. We have to know what our identity is and we have to play to our identity. Last night we got away from our identity and tried to be too up and down. We’re not the Colonials of 2013-14 when we would out chance people because we knew we would score more. We have to make sure we buckle down more and play with the lead a little bit better.”

Up Next

The Colonials will host the Bowling Green Falcons on Tuesday, December 1 at 7:05 p.m. at Clearview Arena.

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