NEVILLE TWP., Pa. — Robert Morris scored three extra-player goals in the final 9:05 regulation, but it was too little too late as the Colonials finished in the red to No. 10 Colgate 4-3 at the Island Sports Center.
The first period was an even one, as the two teams exchanged chance after chance, but neither team capitalized until a checking minor on Kirsten Welsh lead to a goal by Jessie Eldridge.
The Raiders added on to their lead in the second, receiving goals Coralie Larose, Bailey Larson, and Eldridge, extending the lead to 4-0.
Paul Colontino opted to swap Lauren Bailey for first-year Arielle DeSmet to start the third, but the Raiders continued to pressure the Colonials and kept them trapped in their own zone for the first half of the period.
Fortunes changed as Malia Schneider took defender Emily Curlett head-first into the wall at 9:32, giving the Colonials a five-minute major to try and claw back into the game. Jaycee Gebhard collected her 100th career point 1:24 into the advantage on a goal from the slot, achieving the milestone in only eighty games. Amber Rennie stuffed home a rebound at 14:02, but the Colonials were unable to find the back of the net the remainder of the advantage. Another ill-advised knee-on-knee hit on Welsh by Larson led to another opportunity for the Colonials, and with DeSmet on the bench Maggie LaGue fired a shot through traffic that beat Julia Vandyk, cutting the deficit to one. Welsh’s attempt to put Olivia Zafuto into the bench ended the comeback bid at 19:26, putting the Colonials on the disadvantage late. A late icing call gave Robert Morris an offensive zone face-off, but they were unable to capitalize.
The Colonials came into 2018-19 with a surplus of defenders, having moved junior Sarah Lecavalier to the defensive side to better utilize her physical edge and experience. With two first-year defenders coming into the fold and emergency sophomore Morgan Schauer being elevated to a regular role, the team needed balance on the blueline.
Lecavalier left the victory in Mercyhurst with an upper-body injury, and first-year Gillian Thompson did not dress for this contest, so the Colonials were down to five defenders.
The entirety of the contest was spent with one of seniors Welsh and LaGue on the ice, sophomore Curlett and first-year Wasyn Rice rotated shifts with the two. Schauer also saw action.
ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET
The Colonials debuted a new uniform this evening, an updated version of the fan-favorite red jersey with “COLONIALS” diagonally stitched across the front. The team replaced the blue pants and blue helmets with their current road pants, socks, and helmets to give an “all-red” feel.
The Colonials close out their series with Colgate at the Island on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. The men’s ice hockey program hosts Penn State at 7:05 p.m., followed by the popular “Skate with the Colonials” public skate.