If there were any questions as to whether the Robert Morris Colonials were going to be ready to go for their five-week, 10-game road trip, they were answered at the end of a 2-1 overtime victory against the Minnesota State Mavericks on Saturday afternoon.
The teams battled to a 1-1 draw through 60 minutes but it only took senior forward Brittany Howard just 40 seconds to lift the puck past Mavericks goaltender Katie Bidulka while falling to the ice.
The Colonials traveled to Mankato, Minn. early Friday and practiced upon arrival at the Verizon Center. Howard had no concerns about the travel affecting her team.
“I think our team can persevere through anything. Obviously it’s hard to wake up at 3 a.m., travel and then practice on the road,” the defending CHA Player of the Year explained over the phone. “We came out a little slow in the start, but definitely revved things up in the second and the third.”
Head coach Paul Colontino didn’t want to mince words when it came to using the schedule as a scapegoat.
“You can’t deny it, but you also cant use it as an excuse,” Colontino stated. “We thought our players did a real good job fighting through a couple things. Yesterday (Friday) we traveled early, turned around and had a 2 p.m. game today. There’s not much time there. I liked the way the players battled through things.”
After a scoreless first period, the Mavericks got on the board first in the second, when a tick-tac-toe play allowed Amanda Conway to put one behind senior Elijah Milne-Price.
With RMU on the power play, junior defender Kirsten Welsh countered with 12 seconds in the period left on a wrist shot from the top of the circle through traffic.
Milne-Price started for the Colonials. The goaltender from Mississauga, Ontario picked up her second career win, stopping 22 of the 23 shots she faced.
THE ROAD AHEAD
The Colonials will have one more bout with the Mavericks, a noon CDT (1 p.m. EST) puck drop on Sunday.