NEVILLE TWP., Pa. — Robert Morris was able to erase a 4-1 deficit to complete the comeback and tie the Minnesota State University Mavericks.
The Colonials were looking to repeat their dominance of the Mavericks after 6-2 and 2-1 victories last year. The Mavericks however had a different idea. They controlled the first two periods of play forcing the Colonials to scramble in an attempt to salvage a point.
Brooke Bryant opened the scoring for the Mavericks when she was allowed to come clean through the slot on a power play. Corbin Boyd followed to make it 2-0. The Colonials were able to regroup quickly though, with Natalie Marcuzzi scoring under a minute later.
The Mavericks would extend their lead to 4-1 in the second period following Bryant’s second goal and another goal for Boyd on a two-player advantage. “I thought we played a little bit too loose and too undisciplined in terms of our defensive zone” reflected Coach Colontino, “we gave up grade-A scoring chances”.
The Colonials were finally able to gain some ground half-way through the third period. Emily Curlett snuck a shot from the point past Maverick goalie Abigail Levy. Curlett had a strong presence throughout the night registering a team-high seven shots and was a +3.
Discipline, or lack of, played a big part of this game as the two teams combined for 15 penalties. Four of the penalties against the Mavericks came in the third period. The Colonials were able to capitalize on the fourth of these when Maggie LaGue took a pass from Kirsten Welsh and scored to make it 4-3.
Colonial goalie Lauren Bailey was pulled with about two minutes left in the game. The Mavericks thought they had closed it out with an empty-net goal but it went just wide giving the Colonials another chance to tie the game. Kirsten Welsh got free on the backside and was able to score with 41 seconds left in the game, forcing an overtime period.
The Colonials were unable to capitalize on a power play opportunity in overtime and then took one of their own with just under two minutes remaining. The Mavericks had a great chance in front of the net but Marcuzzi smartly took a holding penalty that denied what would’ve been an easy goal. The Colonials managed to kill a five-on-three power play and the game ended in a 4-4 tie.
“We are definitely happy to get the tie, we had to fight hard for it. It doesn’t feel like a win at all.” Coach Colontimo reflected, “When you really only play 20 minutes, how do you expect to win a hockey game?”
Of note, Colonial forward Jaycee Gebhard registered three assists on the night, extending her point streak to eight games. Gebhard is in the top 5 for the NCAA Division I scoring race.
The Colonials will look to give a full 60 minute effort when the teams play again tomorrow at 1:05 p.m.