NEVILLE TWP., Pa. — 65 minutes wasn’t sufficient enough time to decide a high-octane, penalty-ridden affair as No. 10 Robert Morris and No. 4 Clarkson skated to a 3-3 draw at the RMU Island Sports Center on Friday night. 18 power-plays were awarded in the contest, five of which were converted into goals.
Playing in their first game as a ranked team since Mar 8, 2018, the Colonials kept the Golden Knights on their toes for a majority of the first and second periods. Robert Morris erased a two-goal deficit just three minutes into the second period by scoring three consecutive power-play goals.
Clarkson struck first on the games second-called power-play, as Rhyen McGill fired a shot top-shelf shot over Colonials starter Arielle DeSmet. Five penalties were called during the frame, foreshadowing what was to come.
The second period saw eleven penalties, but ironically it was an early opportunity for the Golden Knights that led to Taylor Turnquist scoring the contests only even strength tally at 1:35. Avery Mitchell’s interference penalty led to the turning point for the Colonials, as junior Emilie Harley fired a shot that deflected off of Michaela Boyle’s stick and behind Amanda Zeglen. Meaghan Hector and Elia Shelton’s matching checking penalties just :23 apart gave Robert Morris a 5-on-3 that lead to Jaycee Gebhard’s wrap-around and a tie game. Tia Stoddard’s slashing minor gave the advantage that Emily Curlett needed to power one past the Golden Knights starter for the lead at 13:02. Clarkson capitalized on a Joelle Fiala checking from behind minor with McGill scoring her second of the contest.
DeSmet stopped 39-of-42 shots in the stalemate for Robert Morris, Zeglen procured 14-of-17 for Clarkson.
PENGUINS ELITE: HOMECOMING
The game signified the return to the greater Pittsburgh area for a former Penguins Elite alumnus, defender Lauren Bernard. Bernard played in all of the Golden Knights scenarios and collected two assists, including the primary on the game-tying goal.
The Madison, Ohio native played on the u16 squad under former Colonials forward Cobina Walkland, and her u19 staff featured 2015-16 captain Ashley Vesci as an assistant.
The contest was also the first time that transfer sophomore Boyle suited up against her former squad. A member of the 2018 National Championship squad, Boyle’s goal in the second period was celebrated by grabbing the crest on her jersey and shaking it.
Boyle now has four goals in five games, one shy of her 2017-18 total and two points shy of that marker. She played all 38 games in that season.
No. 10 Robert Morris and No. 4 Clarkson finish their set at the RMU Island Sports Center on Saturday at 3:05 p.m.