Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

Robert Morris

Senior Special: Gorski Breaks Robert Morris Record in Win over Penn State

NEVILLE TWP., Pa. — Emma Gorski’s dissertation on how to unseat a No. 14 Penn State juggernaut was well received, and the netminder set a new single-game saves record for Robert Morris in their 4-3 overtime victory over Penn State. The win secured the teams continuing playoff berth streak that was halted by the program’s dissolution and kept the Nittany Lions from clinching the outright College Hockey America title on Robert Morris ice.

Janelle Evans overtime goal finished the Colonials assault on the third two-goal lead that Penn State had in the series.

THE GRADUATE

Graduate netminder Emma Gorski drew the start in what was the biggest test in the Robert Morris return season, as the Colonials needed a win to clinch a playoff berth and the No. 3 seed in the upcoming playoffs after losses by RIT and Lindenwood earlier in the day.

The Wallaceburg, Ontario native went above and beyond the call of duty, stopping a Robert Morris single-game record 65-of-68 shots en route to her 21st career victory, including a penalty shot by Maddy Christian that tied the record.

“Honestly, you start to black out a little bit,” Gorski said postgame. “I have a few key words that I say to myself to reassure myself. You are confident, you are strong, you are successful. The whole game I was saying that life’s successful, you’re successful, and I think that showed today.”

Head coach Logan Bittle didn’t mince words on who his starter was for the contest.

“We have all the faith in the world in Emma,” Bittle said. “She came in last weekend, played two games and played fantastic. I don’t think someone had her making 60-some odd saves on their bingo card, but hey, we’ll take it. For it being senior night, that’s just an amazing thing to do.”

Bittle has a marital connection to the former record holder, and gave some insight on to how the former would react.

“I’m sure that’s one record (Brianne McLaughin-Bittle) is happy to give up, especially considering the circumstances”

THE GAME

The Nittany Lions started out the game with an all-out assault on the Colonials, converting 20 of the attempted 33 shots on net in the first period. A mid-frame outburst in the offensive zone gave Robert Morris early hope, but a goal at 17:23 by Brianna Brooks set up a 1-0 Penn State lead heading out of the first frame.

Kendall Butze extended the Nittany Lions lead at 7:34 of the middle frame as the sophomore found a loose puck in the slot and fired it past Colonials starter Emma Gorski on the power play. Robert Morris found life 1:12 later when Alaina Giampietro’s shot from the top of the right circle found the top corner behind Katie DeSa to cut the lead to one. Brianna Brooks second of the contest restored the Penn State two goal lead, but a Madison Primeau blast snuck through DeSa’s pad and the junior tapped in the loose puck at 13:29. Graduate defender Gillian Thompson’s veteran move of delaying around a tired Penn State defense and fired a pass from the half wall that first year Janelle Evans deposited top shelf with under two minutes remaining sen the teams to the locker rooms tied at three.

The two teams continued to ramp up the intensity, and graduate defender Gillian Thompson was ejected for what was announced as abuse of an official. Christian’s penalty shot was one of the better chances for the Nittany Lions, who at one point opened the third frame outshooting the Colonials 21-0.

Gorski’s final act was stonewalling Tessa Janecke on a breakaway in the overtime frame before Evans fired a low off-speed shot that slid past DeSa for the win.

UP NEXT

Robert Morris heads to St. Charles, MO for the season finale on Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17. Face off is scheduled for 4:30pm Eastern Friday and 4:00pm on Saturday. The Colonials have clinched a postseason berth and the No. 3 seed, and most likely will face Mercyhurst in Erie the following weekend.

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