Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

Robert Morris

RMU loses in AHC title game for third straight season

Air Force celebrates its 2018 Riley Trophy victory and NCAA Tournament berth. -- BRIAN MITCHELL

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — For the third straight year, the Robert Morris Colonials’ season came to end in the finals of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament and for the second straight year, it came at the hands of the Air Force Falcons, who skated to a 5-1 victory at Blue Cross Arena on Saturday night.

It was all Air Force from the start, as the Falcons put two goals past Robert Morris netminder Francis Marotte in the first three minutes of the game, and the Colonials could never recover from the deficit.

Kyle Haak tipped home an innocent-looking wrist shot from the half wall off the stick of Jordan Himley at 2:06 of the first. Just 50 seconds later, Falcons defenseman Jonathan Kopacka put a wrist shot from the blue line through traffic and the Falcons were off and running.

Always a talented netminder, Air Force goaltender Billy Christopoulos was an absolute wall after being staked to the early lead. Christopoulos stopped 32 of 33 Robert Morris shots as the Colonials threw everything they could at the Falcons’ net.

Before the end of the first period, the Falcons struck again, with Himley cashing in on the power play. In the second period, a Robert Morris turnover landed on the stick of Evan Giesler, who roofed a shot past Marotte to make it 4-0.

Senior goaltender Andrew Pikul took over in the crease from there and was unbeaten on 12 shots. Nick Prkusic got Robert Morris on the board with an unassisted power play goal in the third period, his fifth goal of the season.

Haak added an empty netter in the third period to seal the win for Air Force.

The Falcons will advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. Robert Morris ends its season at 18-20-3.

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