NEVILLE TWP., Pa.— The Robert Morris Colonials were able to test their incoming freshman class and new line-mates for their experienced players in a 4-2 victory over the visiting Brock Badgers on Sunday evening at RMU Island Sports Center.
The Badgers put forth a determined effort in their second game of the weekend and challenged the Colonials in terms of physical play- all while keeping the game tight well into the final minutes.
“We got an opportunity to see how people responded in game situations and how people we thought looked good in practice played in the game,” RMU head coach Derek Schooley said. “All in all we got a really good evaluation of our hockey team and now we have a short week and turn it around and do it for real against a top 20 team in Bowling Green”
Robert Morris tilted the ice in their favor for large stretches of the game by virtue of 10 power play chances and also by earning the majority of the opportunities at even strength, as evidenced by a 48-18 shot advantage. Sophomore forward Nick Prkusic added both an even strength and power play goal, the latter proved to be the game winner at 16:30 of the final frame when he beat Badger goaltender Mario Cavailaire with a low, hard shot from the right circle. In between Prkusic’s goals, freshman Justin Addamo placed a puck behind Cavilaire for a second period tally while senior Alex Tonge rounded out the score sheet for Robert Morris with an empty net goal to put the game away.
“We have to work with a lot of things,” Schooley said. “We have to work on our power play, we have to work on our penalty killing and on all aspects of our game. I was looking for a few things in this game. I was looking for our compete level, I was looking for us to win battles and I was looking for us to grasp the knowledge of our systems and to be able to play hockey without thinking, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”
PROGRESSION OF PRKUSIC
Prkusic’s inspired game seemed to be a natural progression of the successful first season he finished in March of 2018, a season that saw him look comfortable in high traffic areas while displaying a good deal of scoring skill and passion for the game. He centered a line between left wing Kip Hoffman and right wing Nick Lalonde, both freshman and has liked what he has seen from the incoming class.
“I thought they were really good, they played hard and they made a lot of plays and it didn’t really seem like it was their first college game,” Prkusic said “They had a lot of confidence, it was good. We decided we really needed to bring everyone together, especially with 11 new guys. We’ve spent a lot of time together and things are blending really so far so we just need to keep that going into the season.”
Defensively, the Colonials played a sound game overall, giving very little in the way of prime scoring chances at even strength while between the pipes, all three goalies dressed. Junior Francis Marotte logged just over 30 minutes in the net while sophomore Dyllan Lubbesmeyer and freshman Reid Cooper split the remainder of the game, each giving up a power play goal.
The Colonials open their regular season on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. in a matchup against Bowling Green at RMU Island Sports Center. The two clubs finish the series in Bowling Green at 5:05 p.m. on Sunday.