NEVILLE TWP., Pa. — Ellie Marcovsky’s 5-on-3 goal with 3:00 to play in regulation ended a ferocious Lindenwood come-from-behind bid in the third, elevating the Robert Morris Colonials to a 4-2 victory at the Island Sports Center on Thursday night in the College Hockey America opener for both squads.
The native of Mt. Lebanon had ample opportunity early and was featured on the first power-play unit from the onset of the contest. She continued to get more comfortable as the night progressed, keeping the fireworks for a finale in her first career game, finding an open puck to the left of the Lions cage and firing it past Annika Asplundh for the go-ahead goal.
Head coach Paul Colontino liked what he saw out of his first-year forward.
“Ellie gets on a power-play,” Colontino said. “And she plays it like a veteran, like she’s been doing it all her life, finds the right spot, anticipates where the pucks going to be and bangs it home. For her I think it’s going to be a great memory – a game-winning goal in your first game.”
Maggie Burbidge opened the scoring for Robert Morris, re-directing an Emily Curlett slap-shot from the point and past Asplundh at 7:12 of the first frame.
The two teams became increasingly physical as the second period began, with the Lions clamping down on the net-front presence created by junior Michaela Boyle and Marcovsky (who ironically dons the number of former net-hawk Amber Rennie). The Colonials were able to escape with a 2-goal lead heading into the final frame, with Lindenwood beginning as Hannah Alt fired a shot from just across the blue line, beating sophomore Raygan Kirk just :57 into the period.
The Colonials faced a tall task as Lexi Templeman and Wasyn Rice were tagged for minors two seconds apart, and as the Lions momentum continued to build, Sierra Burt found a puck on the goal line and fired it over Kirk to tie the game. Robert Morris fought to regain momentum, and Marcovsky capitalized after Lindenwood’s Thea Jorgenson and Maddison Stitt were each awarded penalties for boarding. Stitt’s foul was the more egregious of the two, earning 5-and-a-game for a shot to Boyle in front of the Lions bench.
Junior Wasyn Rice closed out the scoring with a shot from the goal-line at the 19:16 mark of the final frame.
The Colonials opened up their season short-benched, having rising-junior Courtney Kollman and senior Janey Sandoval leave the program during the off-season. First-year defender Chace Sperling was a scratch for the contest.
Robert Morris and Lindenwood close out the Pennsylvania portion of their four-game set at Clearview Ice Arena at the Island Sports Center on Friday at 1:05 p.m.