NEVILLE TWP., PA. — Robert Morris turned back the clock for one night, bringing back a version of the ‘Cardiac Colonials’ in a 4-4 tie with No. 14 Penn State Friday night. The Colonials erased two two goal deficits to match the top team in College Hockey America.
After spotting a goal to Tessa Janecke in the first frame and an unfortunate shorthanded goal to Alyssa Machado, Robert Morris used the back-half of the same penalty to find their groove in the second. Morgan Giannone’s riser from the slot cut the Nittany Lions lead to one before Janelle Evans found a rebound to the right of Katie DeSa and tied the contest 34 seconds later. Penn State wasn’t done as Mya Vaslet and Brianna Brooks opened another two goal lead five minutes later with markers 43 seconds apart.
Mya Neugent found the net midway through the third period before firing a shot low that beat DeSa with 51 seconds remaining.
“I just saw a pass from (D’Elia),” Neugent said postgame. “I slapped it, didn’t know where it went, luckily it ended up in the back of the net.”
The two teams put on a show in the overtime period, but neither team capitalized and it ended in a tie.
Robert Morris had a reputation for being able to come-from-behind in big games during their first run in Division I, something that normally shouldn’t be celebrated due to the fact that you have to be down in big games.
The game- and stakes- couldn’t have been any bigger for the newest crop of Colonials.
“The buy in that it takes to do stuff like that,” Logan Bittle explained “That’s something that we’re working on and working on, they really showed it through today and they’ve shown it though the last handful of weekends. It’s exciting to see what they’re doing and the growth of the team.”
Both teams knew the stakes of the contest – the Nittany Lions would have clinched a College Hockey America regular season title with a win and the Colonials would have been a bit closer to a playoff berth with the same result. Instead, the Lions have to wait another day with a Mercyhurst victory over Lindenwood keeping the Lakers mathematically alive. The Colonials need a win tomorrow and either a loss by RIT or Lindenwood to seal a playoff berth before the final weekend.
The Nittany Lions and Colonials close their series on Saturday, February 10 at 5:00pm at the Robert Morris Island Sports Center. The Class of 2024 will be honored before face-off, with a few of the graduates being honored as well. Robert Morris closes out their regular season in St. Charles, Missouri with a pair of games against the Lindenwood Lions. Face-off is scheduled for 4:30 Eastern on Friday and 4:00 on Saturday.