RMU NCAA men’s hockey vs. Niagara preview

Photo by Bill Paterson

By Brooke Smith, Sports Editor

  This weekend will start the first of three upcoming home-and-home series that the Robert Morris University NCAA men’s hockey team will have against Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) opponents.  The January 27 and 28 series will feature the Colonials facing off against the Niagara Purple Eagles, a team that RMU is very familiar with.

  “We’ve played them a lot especially in the CHA.  We know their systems and we know their players, but that’s the same for them,” said senior forward, Cody Crichton.  “They know what we’re going to be doing and that’s kind of a challenge, but what a lot of it is going to come down to is preparation for us.”

  The Colonials know that they getting the first victory, especially in a home-and-home series.

  If you can get that first victory on Friday it gives your team some confidence and you’re one step closer to a sweep, which in college hockey doesn’t happen too often,” said senior goaltender, Brooks Ostergard.   “So if you can get that first victory, it really gives you the advantage for the weekend.”

  They also realize how important it is to maintain their leads especially after last Friday when they gave up three unanswered goals to the University of Connecticut Huskies but still held on to win 4-3.

  “Anytime you get a lead, you want to maintain it, but we’ve had a couple of games where we’ve let teams get back in it. That’s all a part of hockey and a part of momentum,” said Crichton.  “You’ve got to focus on getting the lead and focusing on maintaining that and making smart decisions in the third period and not giving teams the chance to come back and just putting them out when we’ve got them on the ropes.”

  Although the Colonials know this will be a challenge, they are ready for the weekend series against the Purple Eagles.  “We’re confident in our team and our coaching staff that we’re going to be prepared,” said Crichton.

  “Right now I think our lineup is a little beaten up, but I think that’s pretty natural with the hockey season going this late,” added Ostergard. “I just think if everybody is sticking to their position and executing Robert Morris hockey we’ll be fine”

  Both games will start at 7:05 with Friday’s game being in the Clearview Arena at the RMU Island Sports Center and Saturday’s game will be in Niagara at the Dwyer Arena.