HARBORCREEK TWP., Pa. — Robert Morris spotted Mercyhurst the lead for the second consecutive afternoon, but this time was able to wash away a 3-0 deficit to tie the Lakers 5-5 on Saturday at Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Maggie Knott once again opened the scoring for Mercyhurst, knuckling a puck from the circles that beat starter Raygan Kirk at 3:14, and Sam Isbell’s breakaway goal at 9:59 chased the first-year net minder from the game. A lucky bounce at 19:29 in front to Summer-Rae Dobson was tapped behind Arielle DeSmet and the Colonials were stunned heading into the locker room.
“I don’t think we said a whole lot,” head coach Paul Colontino said of the first intermission. “Just on the fact that it was 3-0, you’ve got nothing to lose and if you’re holding anything back nows the time to run loose.”
Robert Morris came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders in the second, and the Colonials took control of the momentum for an extended period of time after Anjelica Diffendal fired a shot that beat Jenna Silvonen at 6:00. A mere 37 seconds later Natalie Marcuzzi scored her third of the season to cut the lead to 3-2.
Mercyhurst had a quick turnaround on a Diffendal penalty, as Dobson found the back of the cage once again to regain the two-goal lead. The Colonials cut the lead to one ice again with 51 seconds remaining in the frame.
Robert Morris was once again behind the 8-ball in the third, ceding a goal to Emily Pinto at 1:52 of the final frame to give the Lakers a 2-goal lead. A ruthless forecheck gave Robert Morris life in the middle stages of the period, and once again the Colonials cut the lead to one as Marcuzzi scored a total-effort goal.
Michaela Boyle’s eleventh power-play goal on the season (and 20th overall) tied the game with just under ten minutes to go in regulation.
“I think our leadership in the locker room was phenomenal,” Colontino added. “We came out, were able to get back on the board with a couple and our bench was able to create a little bit of momentum and excitement and we got ourselves back in the game”
The Colonials and Lakers had a tough series once again, one that was marred by inconsistent officiating and sub-par play at times on both sides of the puck. Multiple reviews were initiated on goals, with no changes being made to goals.
The Colonials, trailing 5-4 in the mid stages of the third period, were the recipients of two consecutive hits from the Lakers- the first being a hit on Jaycee Gebhard behind the net that was called a hold on Megan Korzack, and the second, more severe penalty on Rachel Marmen. Marmen’s check from behind on Templeman in front of the penalty boxes mere moments during Korzack’s delayed penalty was called took a player from each squad out of the game – Marmen was ejected for intent, and Templeman was visibly shaken up after the play.
Robert Morris hosts RIT at the Robert Morris Island Sports Center for the final time this season on Friday, Feb 21 at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday, Feb 22 at 3:05 p.m. The game on Saturday is the final home game of the regular season for the Colonials, as seniors Jaycee Gebhard, Natalie Marcuzzi and Sarah Lecavalier will be honored before the contest.