NEVILLE TWP.,Pa- There wasn’t a lot of room on either side of the ice to be found between the Robert Morris Colonials and visiting Clarkson Golden Knights on Saturday afternoon at Clearview Arena. But what opportunities there were, Clarkson made the most of. Propelled by two timely power play goals, Clarkson found a way to hang on to the lead despite a late Colonial goal, turning the result into a weekend sweep.
Hatch Keeps Colonials in it Early
The Crusaders started strong once again, amassing 14 shots in a first period onslaught as the pucks were flying fast and furious early. However, Maggie Hatch stood tall in the Colonial net, stopping 13 of the 14 shots she faced, while giving her team a chance to win. The lone goal came at the 12:50 mark when Brooke McQuigge managed to snuck the puck over the line during a Golden Knight power play for her second goal of the season, giving her side the early lead. However, unlike Friday’s contest that saw the nationally seventh ranked Golden Knights pull away in a 5-1 win, Saturday’s contest stayed a one goal affair, up for grabs seemingly the rest of the game. Hatch managed to stop 34 of 36 Clarkson shots for the night.
Minotti Responds with Strong Second
The Colonials turned up with wick on the scoring chances in the second frame as they nearly buried a few chances that were begging for just a little more speed or just one more touch. And just like Hatch in the Colonial net, Julia Minotti kept her side in the lead as she stopped seven shots with some from point blank range to keep the score 1-0. Also working against the Colonials were trips to the penalty box, including two chances in the second and a staggering five power plays against in the final frame that helped to seal the result for the Golden Knights who looked to be matched in intensity at even strength.
Golden Knights Take Advantage One More Time
The power plays kept on coming for the visitors when at the 11:43 mark of period three, the Knights struck again as a shot on the power play from Nicole Gosling seemed to find the stick of Alexie Guay who tipped it past Hatch for the second Clarkson goal. The tally was reviewed by officials, but allowed to stand as the Colonials found themselves in a two-goal hole and time ticking away. Colonial defenseman Alaina Giampietro pulled Robert Morris back into the game with an extra net tally at the 17:56 mark when she backhanded a rebound past Minotti to cut the lead to 2-1. But the Colonials could find no more late game magic and fell to 3-5-0 on the young season as the clock struck triple digits. Still tough, the effort put forth against a nationally ranked opponent by the Colonials, warrented praise from their first year head coach Logan Bittle.
“It was an awesome battle by our team, we definitely challenged them after last night and they answered the bell,” Bittle said. “I’m very proud to be the coach of this team with that effort. We don’t want to accept losing, but going into league play, playing like that is going to get you a win a lot of times. It’s definitely something we can build off of. ”
Robert Morris travels to Erie, PA to take on conference rival Mercyhurst in a crucial matchup for two games starting on Friday, October 20.