Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

Robert Morris

Pioneers Hold Off Colonials in Hotly Contested Battle

Photo Courtesy of Justin Bert/RMU Athletics

NEVILLE TWP.,Pa- It may have been a 4-2 loss for the Robert Morris University Colonials on Friday night versus the visiting Sacred Heart Pioneers, but it didn’t seem to feel like one when time ran out. Be that as it may, untimely and undisciplined penalties kept the Colonials out of the win column as the Pioneers capitalized on three golden opportunities and held on the rest of the way to earn a hard fought Atlantic Hockey battle at Clearview Arena.

“We did some good things,” Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley said. “There’s a lot to build on and this is a process, but we have to make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, but at the end of the day there were a lot of good things to build on and move forward with. I really liked our game today. I thought we competed hard and we gave them all they could handle, we just have to be a little bit better.”

From the opening puck drop, the Pioneers seemed intent on pulling away and playing their game as they racked up a 2-0 lead. The goals, coming off a deflection from Kevin Lombardi and a slapper courtesy of John Jaworski, and a 12-2 shot advantage through the game’s first 15 minutes gave every illusion that the Pioneers were preparing to runaway with the contest early. Colonial forward Dallas Tulik then brought his side to life with a power play tally at the 16:18 mark of the first frame, beating Pioneer netminder Chase Clark after receiving a perfectly placed pass from Walter Zacher to cut his team’s deficit in half. However, TJ Walsh put the puck past Chad Veltri in the Colonial net with less than a minute left to give his side a 3-1 advantage heading into the dressing room.

The Colonials looked non affected by the late period tally, and went ahead with playing their game, tying the Pioneers up in their own end for extended shifts on occasion while ratcheting up their physical play and putting up a 25-19 shot advantage for the final 45 minutes of action. It was an example of a stretch of play Robert Morris has been looking to achieve for several games and it came against one of the top teams in Atlantic Hockey.

“When we’re around the net we need to score goals,” Schooley added. “There’s been a lot of near misses. Tonight should give us confidence and we did not have a lot coming into the game. We have not played the way we want to play the last couple of games but today we played hard, we played good, we just need to finish those chances around the net.”

Colonials’ defenseman Cade Townend took a well placed, cross ice pass from forward George Krotiris and beat Clark for a second Robert Morris tally with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game and pressed hard for a tying goal in the waning minutes until a penalty with just over two minutes remaining hampered their chances of coming up with a late goal. Daniel Ebrahim put the result on ice for the Pioneers with a last minute empty net tally to finish out the scoring.

The Colonials and Pioneers will finish their weekend set on Saturday with a 1 PM puck drop at Clearview Arena.

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