Sadowy makes triumphant return in opening game victory

By Ian Kobal

Robert Morris women’s ice hockey hit the ice for the first time this season in a 4-1 exhibition match win against Ryerson University.

The game opened up slow, with both teams failing to set up any sort of offensive presence until forward Caitlyn Sadowy found the back of the net for Robert Morris with a backhand shot that was able to squeak up and over the goaltender at 12:45 in the first period to take a 1-0 lead over the Rams.

“I knew I had to bury it, the girls were all over the puck and we had to bury one so it was nice to get that one in and start it up,” said Sadowy.

Starting the second period, the Robert Morris defense started to buckle down and take control of the game by shutting down the middle of the ice, giving Ryerson the bad angle shots, and creating turnovers in the defensive zone.

“More importantly we tried to do a better job of having good ice balance overall. We felt in the first period we were all over the map you know, jumping here, overcommitting there and we kinda reeled it in a bit. Our defense did a nice job of settling into the game, taking away the middle of the ice, pushing people out and waving towards the walls, creating those battles on the wall and by doing that it helped create turnovers when we didn’t have the puck which led to a little more offense that period,” said head coach Paul Colontino.

Adding to the offense is just what RMU was able to do, scoring two more goals to their total in the second period. Scoring the first of the two was forward Lexi Templemen off of a rebound that was initially shot by defensemen Kirsten Welsh.

Adding the second goal in the period was forward and assistant captain Brittany Howard, with a shot that beat the Ryerson goaltender low on the glove side, assisted by forwards Jessica Gazzola and Jaycee Gebhard.

“I was actually trying to go top glove, but it went mid-net so I was lucky it squeaked through. It was a really nice passing play up to Jaycee, to Jess, and then Jess with the little drop pass on the three-on-two, so it was really nice,” said Howard.

Being down 3-0, Ryerson had to try to create a spark which eventually came late in the second period when Colonials forward Natalie Marcuzzi took a minor penalty for interference, giving the Rams an opportunity to take to the power play. Ryerson was able to capitalize on the man advantage, with forward Alyssa Connolly netting a wrist shot from the slot after receiving the pass from forward Karli Nummikoski to bring the score to 3-1.

Going into the third period, Ryerson really needed to find a way to penetrate into the middle of the ice and start to get quality scoring chances, but the Colonials defense proved to be too much for the Rams.

With 5:40 left in the third, Robert Morris was able to add yet another goal to their total when Howard broke free, and skated down the ice on a two-on-one play where she was able to beat the Ryerson goaltender with a low shot to the far side, just past the leg pad of the goaltender to increase the lead to 4-1.

“The goalie had a bad angle so the left side was quite open, and then obviously low pad for J on the back door,” said Howard.

Robert Morris was able to continue to shut down the Ryerson offense for the rest of the period, closing out the game and coming out on top with the 4-1 victory.

When asked how it felt to start the season on a high note with a big win and a strong performance, head coach Colontino was pleased with his team’s performance.

“A win’s a win, you love to win, you love to play. The girls work hard throughout the summer and the fall and fall training. We get to come back on the ice and compete and it’s awesome. It feels great, and it’s a great first step. We know our next step gets tougher and it will continue to get tougher throughout the season so it’s great to start off with a win. Now we need to do now is take a close look at the video and fix a few things because without that we won’t see any more wins,” Colontino said.

Robert Morris is set to officially start their regular season with a streak of ten away games in a row, beginning with the Minnesota State University Mavericks on Oct. 7.