NEVILLE TWP, Pa. — Nick Prkusic and Brendan Michaelian netted two goals each as the Robert Morris Colonials defeated the Mercyhurst Lakers 4-1 Saturday at the Island Sports Center.
Giles opened up scoring, taking a cross-circle pass from Roman Kraemer and firing it past a diving Garrett Metcalf at 6:37 of the first period.
A scary moment occurred just 50 seconds into the second, as a Colonials player skated through the crease and coincidentally hit Metcalf, and the starter headed to the bench before departing to the locker room. Burgettstown native Colin DeAugustine took over in net for the Lakers at that point.
Steven Ipri scored for the Lakers in the early part of the second to tie the game, but the Colonials created momentum as the period rolled on. Prkusic found the back of the cage at 15:50 of the frame, followed just 1:17 later by a blast from the top of the circles by Michaelian. Tempers flared at the end of the period as both teams were involved in a scuffle in front of the Lakers cage.
Prkusic’s and Michaelian’s second goals into an empty net at 19:41 of the third capped off the scoring for the Colonials.
“I thought we were pretty complete,” Derek Schooley said. “We had a really good push back from the last ten minutes of the second, and we finished the second off with authority. I thought we played a really good third period, we had pucks in deep and pucks on net.”
The Colonials have relied on their front-loaded offense and strong goaltending over the past few seasons, as players like Chase Golightly, Alex Bontje and Eric Israel created various opportunities for the squad from the blue-line. In the 2019-20 season, the team finds themselves with a strong offensive output from their backline, with three goals and five points coming from defenders.
“We wanted to get more offense from our blue line,” Derek Schooley said. “We’d been getting it from one person in Eric Israel. Eric was a great Colonial, but we needed to get more all-around scoring and Sean Giles came in, and Nick Jenny’s got 4 goals, now Brendan Michaelian has five goals.”
Michaelian further echoed the words of his coach, adding in credit to the individuals on the evenings effort.
“Coaches stress us jumping in the play when we can getting pucks to the net, because when you get pucks to the net good things happen,” Michaelian said. “[Sean] Giles did a good job at stepping in there, and on mine Lynch, Coyne and Kip made a great play down low and found me in the slot. [Alex Robert] found a way to contribute, and obviously the empty net at the end. It’s definitely good to contribute, gives us all back there a lot of confidence.”
The Colonials finished 2-1-1 against Mercyhurst on the season, moving into sole possession of fourth place in the Atlantic Hockey Association standings.
Robert Morris welcomes American International to the Island Sports Center next weekend. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Friday and 5:05 p.m. on Saturday.