Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

Robert Morris

Sun Devils Sweep Colonials with Sunday Night Victory; Gratton Scores Hat Trick

Photo courtesy of Justin Berl/RMU Athletics

NEVILLE TWP., Pa- The Robert Morris Colonials couldn’t have asked for a much better start at Clearview Arena on Sunday evening as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the 13th ranked Arizona State Sun Devils in the first twenty minutes of action. However, they couldn’t withstand the offensive onslaught that almost immediately followed as Arizona State pounded the Colonial net with 45 shots and 7 goals over the final 40 minutes, including five unanswered markers to take a 8-3 win in game two of their weekend match up.

“We ran into a buzz saw and couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley said. “Penalties got us again in the second period and unfortunately we weren’t able to kill them like we wanted.”

Unlike Saturday night’s contest which saw the power plays favoring the Sun Devils by a sizable margin, the Colonials were early recipients of a three straight man advantages and took advantage of them. Freshman forward Jackson Reineke opened the scoring at 8:32 when a Dallas Tulik pass found him at the side of the net which Reineke shot past starting Sun Devil netminder TJ Semptimphelter for the early 1-0 lead. Robert Morris captain Rylee St. Onge then doubled the advantage with the second Colonial power play goal of the night as he picked his corner and sent a rocket to the net, putting his side ahead 2-0 at 17:28.  Tyler Gratton closed out the first period scoring with his first tally of the night to cut the Robert Morris lead in half heading into the dressing room.  When the two teams re-emerged for the middle stanza, it was a completely different type of game.

The Sun Devils scored early to tie the score on Tyler Gratton’s first of three goals of the night to get his side off and running as they pressed the attack and were the first team on seemingly all 50/50 pucks while also earning more man advantages along the way. Gratton then went to work on what was almost a natural hat trick with his second power play goal of the night at 5:52 of the second frame and was interrupted on the scoresheet by Colonial freshman George Krotiris who scored his third goal of the season at 9:43 when he put away a rebound to tie the score at three apiece. The Colonials would show no signs of life the rest of the way as Gratton finished his hat track at 18:43of the second period following goals from Matthew Kopperud and Ty Murchison to forge a 6-3 lead after 40 minutes of hockey.

Dowd and Lukas Sillinger rounded out the scoring with third period goals for the Sun Devils who posted their 13th victory of the season with the win.

“When you give good teams breaks and opportunities that’s how the game ends up,” Schooley added.

Robert Morris will be off for the upcoming holiday season and will return to Clearview Arena for a pair of games against the Stonehill Sky Hawks starting on Friday, January 5 with puck drop scheduled for 7 PM.



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