Robert Morris 3, Mercyhurst 2
MOON TWP, Pa. – Three first-period goals by Robert Morris
proved to be insurmountable on Saturday afternoon as the
ninth-ranked Mercyhurst University women's hockey team dropped a
3-2 decision at the RMU Island Sports Center. The Lakers fell to
6-4-1 on the season and 1-1-0 overall in College Hockey America
action. Robert Morris improved to 9-3-0 overall and 3-1-0 in the
The Colonials scored early and often in the opening twenty minutes against junior netminderAmanda Makela, who entered the game having allowed just two goals in her last five starts. Robert Morris scored three times on 13 shots against Makela and forced Mercyhurst head coach Michael Sisti to make a change after the opening period.
The Colonials tallied two straight power-play goals by Katie Fergus and Rebecca Vint at the 1:14 and 3:26 marks respectively. Robert Morris' Kelsey Gunn finished the first period scoring at the 16:45 mark on an unassisted even-strength goal.
The goaltending change provided a bit of a spark for the Lakers as sophomore Julia DiTondorelieved Makela at the outset of the second period. Mercyhurst responded with a goal by sophomore Kathy Donohue just 1:13 into the middle frame. The power play tally was set up by sophomore Emily Janiga and senior Kaleigh Chippy.
Mercyhurst trailed 3-1 heading into the third period before Janiga scored nearly three minutes into the final period. Janiga's goal marked her 50th career point, after scoring 40 of those points as a rookie last season. Chippy and sophomore Jaclyn Arbour added the assists.
Sisti was able to pull DiTondo for an extra attacker in the waning seconds, but Mercyhurst was unable to get the equalizer against Robert Morris goaltender Jessica Dodds and the Colonials were able to hold off the Lakers' comeback bid.
Makela suffered the loss in net to drop to 6-4-1 on the season. The junior from Thunder Bay, Ontario still has a 1.73 goals against average and a .935 save percentage despite her early exit on Saturday. DiTondo relieved Makela for the final two periods and stopped all eight shots she faced. It was her first action of the season.
Dodds picked up the win for the Colonials after stopping 25 shots.
The game was marred by penalties, especially at the end of the contest when 77 minutes in penalties were handed out after the final buzzer. All told, the teams combined for 101 penalty minutes - 59 of those assessed to Mercyhurst. Robert Morris went 2-for-6 on the power play while the Lakers converted 1-of-4 opportunities.
The Lakers return to the Mercyhurst Ice Center for a weekend series against another conference rival, Syracuse University, on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16. Game times are set for 7:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. respectively.
Lindenwood 1, RIT 1
A second period goal by Lindenwood's Katie Erickson had the Tigers down heading into the third period, but McCrea was able to even things up early in the frame, and force overtime. Despite outshooting Lindenwood 45-22, RIT could only manage to push that one goal past Nicole Hensley who played a terrific game in net.
RIT goalkeeper Ali Binnington (Oakville, Ontario/Mississauga Chiefs) was just as impressive, only allowing one goal off the 22 shots she faced. She stopped 44-of-45 shots on the weekend.
RIT dominated early as they remained in the Lindenwood zone the majority of the first period and had several looks at a goal, closing out the period in a 0-0 tie with the Lions, with an 18-5 shots edge.
The TIgers picked up where they left off in the second period, providing heavy offensive pressure early and often. RIT had three solid shot attempts within the opening minutes of the period but terrific goaltending by Hensley kept the game scoreless. RIT remained in control as the period wore on, but an interference penalty with under six minutes remaining would prove costly as just minutes later Lindenwood's Erickson would score the first goal of the game to put the Lions up 1-0. That score would stand as the second period came to a close with RIT on a key power play.
As the third period began, RIT would get back to work offensively and with a 5-on-4 advantage from the carried over power play. Just 1:24 into the period RIT would even things up with the Lions as a McCrea shot would find back of the net to make it 1-1. Lindsay Grigg(Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Hornets) and Kourtney Kunichika (Fullerton, CA/LA Selects)assisted on the tally, McCrea's 48th of her collegiate career.
Despite earning several more power play opportunities through the remainder of the period, RIT couldn't quite get another goal by Hensley who kept the game tied up, to force overtime.
Neither team could put the puck in the back of the net a second time and the game would end in a 1-1 draw, the Tigers first tie of the season.
RIT is now 2-1-3 all-time against Lindenwood, as the two squads will face off again in January for a two game home series at Ritter Arena.
The Tigers are now 5-0-0 on Friday and 0-5-1 on Saturday this season.
RIT heads home next weekend for a two game series against conference foe Penn State. Game one gets underway on Friday at 7:05 p.m., with game two on Saturday afternnoon at 3 p.m. Friday night will be "white out" night at Ritter Arena, as the first 1,000 fans will receive a free white t-shirt sponsored by Jim Watters, RIT Vice President of Finance.