Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

Robert Morris

Robert Morris to play Northeastern in NCAA Tournament

Ellie Marcovsky and Lexi Templeman celebrate a goal against Sacred Heart -- BRIAN MITCHELL

Robert Morris’ second NCAA appearance one again goes through a No. 1 team as the Colonials received a No. 8 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Their opponents are the Northeastern Huskies, the current ECAC champions. Face-off is scheduled for March 15 at 2:00p.m. at Erie Insurance Arena.

The two squads have not faced off since the 2014-15 season when the Colonials went 1-0-1 against the Huskies at the Island Sports Center.

Robert Morris and Northeastern shared a venue, but not the ice in the 2020 Battle at the Burgh tournament at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. The Colonials played Wisconsin in the opening round and Colgate in the consolation – and all four squads from that tournament are in the 2021 national tournament.

THE FIELD

As with everything during the COVID era, the NCAA Tournament wasn’t selected as normal – the committee couldn’t use their standard “pairwise” method due to a lack of non-conference games and an uneven number of games played amongst the teams.

While Robert Morris and Northeastern are the top pair, the winner will face the victor of No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth and No. 4 Colgate at 7:00 pm on March 15. On the opposite side of the bracket will be No. 2 Wisconsin facing No. 7 Providence (March 16, 2:00pm) and No. 3 Ohio State countering No. 6 Boston College (March 16, 7:00pm).

Notably missing is CHA regular season champion Penn State who dropped their semi-final contest to Syracuse on Friday, and Minnesota who also dropped the WCHA semifinal to Wisconsin.

HISTORY

Robert Morris’ only other NCAA appearance was in 2017, where a trip to LaBahn Arena in Wisconsin resulted in an 8-0 loss to the Badgers. The Colonials rode a familiar route to the finals that year – shutting out Syracuse 2-0 for the squad’s second conference championship.

The team’s first conference championship was in 2012, prior to the CHA conference champion receiving an automatic bid to the tournament.

THE TOURNEY

The 2020 version of the tournament, which was to be held in Boston, was cancelled shortly after the Colonials dropped the title game to Mercyhurst last March. Erie previously hosted the 2011 Frozen Four as Wisconsin defeated Boston University 4-1 in the title game. The Badgers are the defending champion after topping Minnesota 2-0 in Hamden, CT in 2019.

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