NEVILLE TWP., PA. — The Robert Morris Colonials swept the Syracuse Orange via a 4-2 win on Friday and a 3-2 victory at the Island Sports Center Friday night. It was the first contest between the two teams since the 2021 CHA Championship game in Erie. Morgan Giannone scored twice for the Colonials, who also received output from first-year Alaina Giampietro and graduate Shailynn Snow. The second game featured goals from Snow, Madison Primeau and a first from Lindsey Smolen.
The Colonials ride a 3 game win streak after conference victories over Mercyhurst last Saturday and the Orange this weekend and are currently tied with Penn State for the lead in College Hockey America with a record of 3-1. While it is early, the division only features six teams and there are only 20 conference games on the schedule, meaning that a fifth of the schedule is completed.
“You’ve got to take advantage of all the points you can get,” Logan Bittle said. “Obviously you can’t give these points back. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Fortunately enough we were able to take four points and another team in our league could not get four points.”
Madison Primeau, outside of the returning Colonials, has a unique point of view on conference play in the CHA.
“I think there’s a lot of discredit when it comes to the CHA. I think every game, whether it’s in conference or out, the CHA gives teams a run for their money. They work hard. It’s always a fun time.”
Another event occurred prior to the Saturday showdown as Primeau and Orange forward Sarah Thompson promoted the non-profit “Sticks Together”, which helps underprivileged communities be introduced and learn the sport of hockey. Primeau, who transferred from Syracuse during the offseason, now champions the program through the Colonials.
“Bringing Sticks together to Pittsburgh was a process,” Primeau said. “I couldn’t have asked for better support from RMU, my coaching staff and this team. It is a great privilege to be able to celebrate with not only my old teammates, but also my new ones.”
GAME ONE – FRIDAY
The two teams spent the first period reintroducing themselves to one another, and slowly became more physical as the minutes counted down. Snow’s goal at 5:15 opened the scoring for the Colonials, but a goal from Lakers-turned-Orange defender Alexandria Weiss on the power play negated the lead. Weiss’ shot from the point on the power play beat Emma Gorski to the right post, but the puck bounced off the net minders pad and into the cage. A give-and-go between Giannone and Janelle Evans led to Giannone’s first of the contest, Robert Morris retaking the lead 50 seconds later.
The Orange and Colonials ramped up the intensity in the second frame, and a goal from Giampietro at 5:20 extended the lead to 3-1. A breakaway attempt by Giannone was stopped by Syracuse starter Allie Kelley with just over two minutes remaining, and the penalty for the remaining infraction spilling over into the third.
Syracuse increased the intensity on the Colonials in the third and Tatum White found the back of the cage at 5:35 with the second Orange power play goal of the contest. Giannone iced the game with an empty net goal
Gorski started for the Colonials, stopping 24-of-26 in the win, while Kelley stopped 35 for the Orange.
GAME TWO – SATURDAY
Robert Morris and Syracuse had a slow start to the contest, finding themselves in a stalemate until a quality redirect by Sarah Thompson on a Rachel Teslak shot found the back of the cage at 6:41 of the second period. The Colonials tied things up in the second as Mya Neugent’s cross-crease pass was deposited in the upper portion of the net at 13:18.
Madison Primeau’s power goal at 8:59 of the 3rd was countered by the Orange in 1:25 when Kailey Langefels fired a shot from the left circle on the power play that beat Colonial’s starter Maggie Hatch high. First-year Smolen’s goal at 13:03 proved to be the difference and the Colonials stuffed Syracuse the remainder of the way.
Kelley stopped 36-of-39 in the loss, while Hatch made 24 saves.
The Colonials head into a bye week before hosting RIT at the Island on November 17th & 18th.