On Friday, the No. 9 Robert Morris Colonials head to Columbus, Ohio for a two-game with the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes. The two teams faced off in a set of games at the RMU Island Sports Center on Nov. 24 and 25, splitting the series.
ALWAYS WORK HARDER THAN 9-TO-5
Robert Morris seemingly out-played the then No. 5 Buckeyes in a very physical battle during the Friday night tilt. However, mistakes were made as nerves were tested and the Colonials spotted Ohio State a 4-0 lead in the first en-route to a 7-3 loss. On Saturday they were able to take advantage where the Buckeyes faltered, and, on the back of two Brittany Howard goals defeated Ohio State 3-2 in an overtime thriller.
This series will come down to defensive support and special teams. Ohio State is currently rostering five defenders, but when it comes to hockey at the developmental/college level most players have the ability to move throughout the lineup. It will be no small task for the Buckeyes to shut down the depth of Robert Morris, as was the case in November when the Colonials peppered Kassidy Sauve with scoring chances, only to have the Ohio State defenders block a high number of attempts.
In the first series the Buckeyes were able to get into the heads of the Colonials, causing them to take ten minors, a major, and resulted in Kirsten Welsh getting ejected and suspended for the follow-up contest. They capitalized on four of those opportunities. Howard registered a short-handed goal late in the contest. The next day, it was Robert Morris who took advantage of a five-on-three opportunity in overtime, and Howard avoided the sweep with a shot off of a Maggie LaGue pass to beat Sauve.
Somebody asked me after the RIT series what it was going to take for the Colonials to earn respect through one of the tougher stretches in recent history. I told them that they would need to earn five points from the ranked teams, and a split against Mercyhurst. They have three of those points in hand after the win against Ohio State and a tie with No. 4 Colgate, and I think they’ll get at least two of the four available. Robert Morris has split their last three series, and that’s a trend that will continue here.
FRIDAY 6:05 p.m: 4-2 Robert Morris
SATURDAY 3:05 p.m: 3-1 Ohio State