Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

Robert Morris

Mad Hatters: Howard and Rennie lead Colonials past Mavericks 6-2

Amber Rennie carries a puck into the zone against Syracuse in 2016-17. --BRIAN MITCHELL

Just when you thought you’d seen the first line from Robert Morris do just about everything imaginable offensively, they prove you wrong and have a day like they had in Mankato, Minnesota on Sunday. Amber Rennie would register a natural hat-trick in the first period, and on her 3rd goal, Brittany Howard would move into first place on the Colonials all time scoring list in a 6-2 victory over Minnesota State. Howard would then score the next three goals to put a stranglehold on the Mavericks, while Jaycee Gebhard would finish the day with an assist on all six goals, a career high.

“I was asking them to share a bit.” 2017 CHA Rookie of the year Gebhard said over the phone. “We talked about it last night. We started pretty slow (on Saturday), but thats not how we play. We got the first three and knew we had to keep pressing. It felt good.”

Junior Rennie opened up the scoring in the first with a shot over Mavericks goaltender Chloe Crosby at 4:13. She would follow up with a pinball style short-handed goal that Gebhard would shoot off of her body, hit a defender and eventually off of Crosby’s back and into the corner of the net.

“It was pretty amazing.” Rennie said of her natural hat-trick. “I still cant believe that it happened.”

Her third goal was important to the Colonials, as it wasn’t only the game winner, it was the 135th point in Howard’s career, passing Rebecca Vint for the Colonials all-time record in that category.

“It’s a good feeling,” Senior Howard explained. “Obviously I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates, I’ve played with some really good players here at RMU.”

Howard would follow up the record with a parade of goals, scoring on a laser beam from the top of the right face-off dot just 40 seconds into the second. At 15:01 she would skate in, fool a defender and fire a backhander over the glove of replacement Mavericks goaltender Katie Bidulka. Her quest for three goals would end when a Gebhard cross-ice, blueline-to-blueline pass would be placed under the crossbar, roughly in the same location as the other two goals.

“Jaycee had called for me to go to the middle.” Howard explained. “But the [defense] was about to pinch, so an outside lane was able to open up and she hit me tape to tape, I moved in and the goalie went down so I just put it up high.”

Junior Lauren Bailey would get the start in net for the Colonials, allowing one goal on 18 shots before being replaced in the third by first-year Molly Singewald, who would only allow a late power-play goal to Minnesota State.

THE ROAD AHEAD:

The Colonials (2-0-0) will continue their road trip in Orono, Maine as they face the Black Bears on Friday night at 7:00PM and Saturday at 1:00PM.

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