Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

Robert Morris

Slow start dooms Colonials at Holy Cross

Alex Tonge had a pair of assists against Holy Cross. -- BRIAN FOLEY

The Robert Morris men’s hockey team traveled to Worcester, Mass. this week for a two-game series against the Holy Cross Crusaders with hopes of putting some distance between themselves and the pack for the fourth and final first-round bye in the Atlantic Hockey playoffs.

Those hopes lasted about a minute, as the Colonials started the weekend by giving up two goals in the opening 1:09 of what would end up a 4-3 loss at the hands of the Crusaders.

Holy Cross scored all four of its goal in the first period and did so while victimizing two of Robert Morris’ best defensive players.

Freshman goaltender Francis Marotte stopped just 6 of 10 before getting pulled for the second time in three games. In front of him, senior captain Rob Mann was on the ice for all four goals against and junior alternate captain Alex Bontje was his defensive pair for three of them.

With the game looking lopsided after 20 minutes, head coach Derek Schooley turned to Andrew Pikul in net, but Pikul played just 3:49 before leaving the game due to injury after a collision in his crease. Dalton Izyk stopped all 13 shots the rest of the way.

The Colonials’ offense recovered for two goals in the second period, but couldn’t push through for a game-tying effort in the final frame. Alex Tonge had a pair of assist to give him five points in his last three games. Daniel Leavens had a seven-game point streak snapped. Eric Israel now has the longest such streak on the team with points in each of his last five games, including a pair of assists agains the Crusaders.

The two teams will meet again Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at the Hart Center in Worcester. Another win by the Crusaders would draw the two teams to level in the Atlantic Hockey standings.

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