NEVILLE TWP., Pa. — Michaela Boyle’s goal with 51 seconds remaining gave the Colonials life late, but a hooking penalty in overtime lead to Amy Potomak’s game-winner 1:17 into the extra period, giving Minnesota a 4-3 victory at RMU Island Sports Center on Friday afternoon.
Robert Morris was generally not phased in their first matchup with a top-two ranked team in the 2019-20 season, skating with No. 2 Minnesota as if they belong with the elite.
The Colonials and Golden Gophers exchanged leads throughout the contest, as Sarah Potomak’s 140th point ended up behind Raygan Kirk at 8:54 of the first period. After a lockdown by Minnesota’s Sydney Scobee and the defense for an extended period of time, Robert Morris dug into the trenches and found a gem, as senior Natalie Marcuzzi shoveled an Anjelica Diffendal rebound it into the net on her back (not backhand) to tie things up late in the second.
Jaycee Gebhard netted her fourth of the season on an Emily Curlett rebound to give the Colonials their only lead of the contest at 2:58 of the second.
Posturing between the two teams continued until Alex Woken tied things up at 10:03 of the stanza. A Robert Morris penalty box parade ensued, as a pair each of Lexi Templeman and Joelle Fiala minors lead the Colonials to an eight minute period where they skated at a disadvantage.
The two teams continued their stalemate until a shot from Gophers sophomore Gracie Ostertag found the net through traffic and beat Kirk high. Paul Colontino opted to pull the first-year netminder with just over a minute to go and it paid off as Boyle found Curlett’s rebound and fired it into the wide open net to tie the contest at 19:09.
Boyle was called for hooking, leading to a scramble that ended with the game-winner.
IN THE GAME
The Colonials gave the Golden Gophers fits all day, as continually clogged passing and shooting lanes as well as extremely physical effort showed the young squad was up to the task of facing the second-ranked squad.
“Coach tells us all the time that we can play with anybody,” Curlett said. “I think that knowing that we can play with anybody, and this just proves it. Having a mentality that we can no matter what we’re ranked, no matter what’s going on- that makes a big difference.”
The Colonials were stunted by the play of Scobee, who came into the contest with only two total goals-against in three games. All three of Robert Morris’ goals were scored on rebounds that caused the senior to move laterally. Boyle’s game-tying goal was off of a Curlett shot, one that she only recalls until the goal was scored.
“I was tired,” Boyle said. “I gotta get moving, and Scobee just happened to kick the rebound out and it was on my back-hand side. So I took it and I was like, ‘Dear god, just let this go into the net.’ I think I blacked out. I don’t remember it, I just remember being on the ice with Lexi [Templeman].”
Robert Morris countered with Kirk, who made several acrobatic saves to keep the Colonials in the contest, including a backward-diving glove save late in the second. The first-year showed poise and control, as the Colonials racked up 28 blocks in front of her – 12 of which are credited to Curlett.
Robert Morris and Minnesota close their series at RMU Island Sports center with a 1:05 p.m. face-off on Saturday.