Derek Schooley’s men find themselves on the brink of elimination on Friday night, after Robert Morris suffered a 3-2 loss to Bentley in Game One of the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals at Bentley Arena.
Twice, the Colonials fought back from one-goal deficits, but couldn’t find an answer for a goal by Bentley’s Jakov Novak at 18:23 of the third period.
Novak took a feed from Luke Santerno, who was positioned behind the Robert Morris goal. His first attempt whiffed, but his second attempt caught Colonials netminder Francis Marotte off-guard for the game-deciding goal.
The late-game marker was Novak’s second of the day. He opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the circle at 12:55 of the first period.
The Colonials battled back with a fortunate goal at 18:54 of the first period, when Luke Lynch threw a puck on net that bounced off Falcons netminder Aidan Pelino and into the goal.
But another late-in-the-period goal haunted the Colonials, as a Robert Morris turnover went from Jonathan Desbiens to Drew Callin to Brendan Hamblet, who lit the lamp at 19:39 of the first.
In the second period, Robert Morris found an answer on the power play, when Michael Louria took a cross-ice feed from Alex Tonge and one-timed into the Bentley goal to even the score.
The Falcons got a superb defensive effort in the third period. RMU had a 22-18 advantage in shots on goal after 40 minutes, but found the frame just eight more times, with Pelino stopping all of them to finish the night 28 of 30.
The teams will meet again on Saturday at 7:05 p.m., and Sunday at 7:05 p.m. if necessary. Robert Morris will be eliminated with its next loss.