PITTSBURGH, Pa.– The Robert Morris Colonials gave the top ranked St. Cloud State Huskies as much as they could handle over the first 50 minutes, but two third period goals from senior Robby Jackson pushed the Huskies to a 5-2 victory in the consolation game of the 2019 Three Rivers Classic at PPG Paints Arena.
COLONIALS HAD ANSWERS EARLY
The Huskies 14th win of the season came from a game that was up for grabs for the majority of the contest, with neither team giving up many prime scoring opportunities. Leading Huskies scorer Patrick Newell scored his 11th goal of the season at 8:17 of the first frame, cutting to the slot and burying the puck past starting Colonial net minder Francis Marotte. Robert Morris would take less than a minute to respond as Aidan Spellacy fired a shot that Nick Prkusic placed on the net, his fifth of the season.
“I don’t think people understand the magnitude of the team that we had here today,” Schooley said. “That’s Duke in basketball. That’s Alabama in football. That’s the number one team in the nation and we had them 2-2 with 10 or so minutes to go. I liked our effort today. If we play like that a lot of times, we’re going to get rewarded for it more often than not. We were good today, and we can build off of that.”
In the second period, Kevin Fitzgerald finished a play created by Husky forward Nick Poehling, exiting the penalty box all alone, falling and corralling the puck at the Colonial blue line. The forward made his way to the net and nearly put the disc behind Marotte not once but twice as the junior goaltender came up with two amazing saves in rapid fashion, but was unable to stop Fitzgerald’s backhand at 17:39 of the second frame.
Robert Morris responded just 2:18 into the final period when Nick Lalonde fired a well placed wrist shot past Husky goaltender Jeff Smith. The Colonials earned several more scoring chances in the moments afterwards, but Smith made key saves to keep the score tied at two.
HUSKIES FINISH STRONG
Robby Jackson’s two goals- the first coming at 6:34 followed by another tally at 12:45, iced the game for the Huskies, who managed to keep the Colonials out of their end of the rink and off the score sheet. The win earned St Cloud State a third-place finish on the weekend, as well as a chance to leave the rink with some momentum before they start their second half of conference play in the NCHC.
“Obviously all of us were disappointed about yesterday when it just didn’t go our way,” Husky coach Brett Larson said. “So today, we just wanted to hit the reset button and get a little bit better. I would like to see us have a little more killer instinct earlier, but Robert Morris got some life and made it tough for us there. In the third we thought it was our chance to take the game over and not let them hang around. I think the guys did a really good job getting back on the fore check, keeping more pucks in their end and creating some second and third opportunities off that fore check.”