NEVILLE TWP.,Pa- For forty minutes, the Robert Morris Colonials played near perfect hockey in their Saturday afternoon matchup with the Sacred Heart Pioneers. But in the end, it’s not how, it’s how many that matters most. And when it comes to goal scoring, it’s been a frustrating run of games for the Colonials who dropped their fourth straight game in a 3-1 loss.
“I thought for 40 minutes we were outstanding,” Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley said. “The last 20 we were just average and we saw a veteran laden team show us why they’re in first place. We didn’t do as good a job as we needed to in the third period.”
For the Colonials, the game started just as the final forty minutes ended from the previous game on Friday night, with a high level of compete and good puck management. Robert Morris out shot Sacred Heart eight to two in the first frame and generated some fantastic scoring chances along the way while maintaining their defensive structure. Unlike Friday, Robert Morris got control of the scoreboard early in the going as freshman forward George Krotiris skated onto the puck near the Sacred Heart bench and cut in on Pioneer goaltender Chase Clark on a breakaway before tucking the puck in the net for his second point on the weekend. It remained that way until late in the second period during a Sacred Heart power play when Marcus Joughlin put his fifth goal of the year behind starting Colonial netminder Chad Veltri. The Colonials maintained a 14-8 shot advantage through 40 minutes and tilted the ice in the Pioneer end for a majority of the game to that point.
Sacred Heart then received a bounce when Jake Bongo was in the right place at the right time to put a loose puck past Veltri to make it a 2-1 game 7:13 into the final period. Meanwhile, Kevin Lombardi’s empty net tally put the game away with just :36 left, closing the book on the game and a third period that saw Robert Morris take lose focus for just one blink of an eye, and it proved costly.
“When you don’t score a lot of goals you have to be perfect defensively,” Schooley remarked. “We have to hit the net and we have to have bodies around the net and we have to find a way to manufacture goals. We have to create some bounces and get some people around the net. There’s a lot to build on but it’s also a broken record, you’re judged on your wins and losses and right now we need to find a way to get a win.”
Robert Morris will travel to Rochester, NY to take on a formidable RIT Tiger side for a two game series starting Friday, December 1.