NEVILLE TWP., Pa – The Robert Morris Colonials (13-4-1, 4-1 CHMA), thanks to a Joey Zottola hat trick and two goals each from John Parks and Steven Ralston, bested the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons (1-11, 1-7 ECHL) 9-2 Friday night at the RMU Island Sports Center.
Zottola completed the hat trick with one goal in each period, the third coming with just 28 seconds remaining to seal the Colonials’ 13th win of the season.
Pittsburgh native and North Allegheny alum John Parks scored just three and a half minutes into the first period to get the Colonials on the board first. Zottola made it 2-0 just a few minutes later to double the Robert Morris lead as they seemed to take control of the game. Cortland forward Nathan Walker got the Dragons on the board with a goal at 14:03 of the first as the teams entered the first intermission with the one goal difference.
Most of the second period was a stalemate, as the Colonials continued possessing the puck and pressuring the Cortland defense but could not break through until Zottola, after leaving the bench area for several minutes to repair a skate, added to the lead with his second goal of the game with 2:56 remaining in the period. Steven Ralston scored with 18.6 seconds remaining to give Robert Morris a 4-1 lead into the second ice cut.
If the floodgates had not already opened by that point, Robert Morris certainly opened them up and avoided a repeat slow start to a period. Nathan Mickey extended the lead to 5-1 les than a minute and a half into the third period before John Parks got his second of the game a few minutes afterward. Antoni Chirgott scored in a net that was three feet off its mornings before Cortland got another goal on the board. It was too little, too late for the Dragons’ comeback bid though, as Mickey and Ralston each got their second goals of the game. Zottola completed the hat trick with 28 seconds left in the game to seal the 9-2 win for Robert Morris.
MAJOR FOCUS: Zottola nets hat trick in 9-2 win over Cortland