PITTSBURGH., Pa — The quick striking attack of the No. 6 Penn State Nittany Lions put the Robert Morris Colonials in a four-goal hole they weren’t able to climb out of on Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena as the Nittany Lions cruised to a 6-2 victory in the non-conference matchup for both sides.
“I thought we came out hard,” Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said. “Fortunately we were able to finish early.”
The score wasn’t indicative of the play, as the Colonials amassed a 44-37 shot advantage for the game and outchancing their opponent on the night.
The goals came fast and furiously from the Nittany Lions, beginning their onslaught just :13 after the initial puck drop, as forward Sam Sternschein tipped a puck past starting Colonials netminder Justin Kapelmaster. Just over two minutes later, Connor MacEachern shot a knuckling puck from the top of the circles past Kapelmaster for a 2-0 lead. Robert Morris took to the offensive, looking to mount a response while throwing 13 shots on Penn State goaltender Peyton Jones while Mason Snell and Kris Myllari added goals before the end of the first frame.
“You look at the score and you say we lost 6-2, but I really liked how we played,” Colonials head coach Derek Schooley said. “Even in the first period the scoring chances were in our favor and we took the play to them at times. We just had some defensive breakdowns with their ability to finish. They (Penn State) finish their chances. It would have been really easy to quit down 4-0 or 4-1 but I’m proud of the group because I thought we played our best second period of the year and carried it through to the third. At the end of the day we have a lot to build on after this one.”
The second frame saw the Colonials jump back into the contest as Justin Addamo put the Colonials on the board, beating Jones from the top of the circle followed by Grant Hebert finishing a two-on-one, using Nick Prkusic as a decoy. Jones put an exclamation point on the night, blanking Robert Morris the rest of the way with one key save after another.
“I think we have the ability to do some good things if we can replicate how hard we played tonight, Schooley added.”
The Colonials are set to return to Atlantic hockey action with three straight games, starting with in-state rival Mercyhurst on Tuesday night at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. The Colonials and Lakers will continue their series the following Friday in Erie before closing out the set of games on Saturday at the Island Sports Center. All games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m.