After a weekend of two hard-fought games against Minnesota, the No. 2 ranked team in the country, the Robert Morris Women’s hockey team earned the final spot in the top 10 of this week’s uscho.com women’s hockey poll. This is the team’s first time in the top 10 since March 2018, when they were ranked No. 9.
The Colonials wound up on the losing end of both games this weekend, but it was not due to a lack of effort. They were within a goal of the Golden Gophers in the third period of each game, and took them to overtime in Friday’s matchup, after an extra-attacker tying goal by Michaela Boyle late in the third.
On Saturday, the Colonials jumped out to an early lead, but eventually found themselves down 2-1 heading into the third. Emily Curlett, who had an impressive 12 blocked shots in Friday’s game, tied things up on the power play early in the third. The Gophers then turned it on, scoring four unanswered to walk away 6-2 winners.
RMU made Minnesota really work for their victories this weekend. The Gophers had only given up a total of 2 goals in their first four games combined, with 23 goals for. So the fact that the Colonials put 3 pucks behind Sydnee Scobee on Friday afternoon and two more on Saturday was no small feat. They were able to skate with Minnesota and controlled the play at times.
The voters clearly recognized this in the polls this week, as they moved up from the first team out of the poll into the final spot despite the losses. The Colonials will have a great chance to prove they belong in the top 10 this weekend, as they face No. 4 Clarkson.
The Golden Knights are 3-1 on the season, having swept Syracuse, reigning CHA champions, to open the season, 4-3 and 5-1. They split with then No. 10 Minnesota Duluth (currently No. 8) two weekends ago, before a bye last weekend.
Last season when the teams met in early October, the Colonials played the then-No. 1 Golden Knights tough, but lost 4-2 and 4-3 on the road. They will look for some redemption this weekend, with their top line of captain Jaycee Gebhard, alternate captain Lexi Templeman and former Clarkson player Michaela Boyle leading the way. The line has combined for 22 points in four games, and has come through in clutch moments like the final minute of Friday’s matchup.
This weekend will be the first matchup of two ranked opponents at RMU Island Sport Center since November 2017, when the Colonials split with then-No. 5 Ohio State. Games are Friday at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday at 3:05 p.m.