NEVILLE TWP., PA — Jersey Phillips’ shorthanded goal with 3:12 remaining earned Robert Morris the split with RIT Saturday at the RMU Island Sports Center with the Colonials defeating the Tigers 3-2.
The win improves Robert Morris to 4-2 in College Hockey America, maintaining a two point lead on Mercyhurst and RIT through the first six conference games. For Phillips, it was her first career game-winning goal on her third ever.
“I had a few coming down the right wing,” Phillips said postgame. “I tried going short-side two times in a row in yesterday’s loss. I thought maybe I’ll try far side this time. It was awesome.”
The Colonials and Tigers opened up the first the same way as the first game of the series, a scoreless tie. Both Robert Morris starter Maggie Hatch and RIT’s Sarah Coe each showed extreme athleticism in the period, stopping a combined 13 shots.
Graduate forward Shailynn Snow struck pay dirt at 11:51 of the second frame, and after breaking up a Tigers defensive pass, skated in and fired a shot low on Coe to open up the scoring. RIT evened the score under five minutes later, capitalizing on a turnover where Nicole Ness’ shot bounced off of Hatch’s shoulder and fell into the cage.
Addie Alvarez found a loose puck on the left side of the net at 3:19 and, while falling down, found an opening along the side of the cage and gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Lindsay Smolen was able to get a shot on a transition at 9:17 that evened up the score before Phillips’ nearly identical shot gave Robert Morris the victory.
While the early season was defined by the players with previous NCAA experience, the recent trend for Robert Morris has been watching the underclass figure out NCAA hockey their way; by getting on the scoresheet.
This weekend the Colonials received output from Smolen, defender Thalia D’Elia, and forward Calli Arnold. Alaina Giampietro leads the team with 13 points in the 14 games. Janelle Evans is third with three goals and ten points. Catriona Crarer has six assists.
“We’ve had a lot of people jump into different roles due to injuries, it’s nice to know we have that versatility,” Logan Bittle said. “Calli Arnold was great this weekend, gotta give her a lot of credit. Lindsay Smolen with two big goals (against Syracuse) and again this weekend. It’s a team win, a team game. We’re finding ways to win with a lot of different people, so we’re happy about that.”
Robert Morris heads to the Ford Ice Center in Nashville for a pair of 4:00pm starts against Boston University on Friday, November 24 and against Mankato on Saturday, November 25. The Colonials close out the 2023 portion of the conference schedule on December 1-2 in State College against Penn State.
BATTLE AT THE BURGH
Robert Morris finishes the calendar year at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex on December 29th, hosting Bemidji State at 7:00pm. The Consolation or Championship game will be held on the 30th, against either No. 3 Colgate or the University of Maine.