Colonials lose to Falcons in frustrating fashion

Jack O'Brien, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP — The Robert Morris Colonials (8-12-1, 7-7-1 AHA) faced off against the Bentley University Falcons (6-11-2, 5-7-1 AHA) in a frustrating loss for the Colonials, 5-2. Robert Morris was tied with Mercyhurst and Army for fourth in the AHA with 15 points. Now, Mercyhurst is in sole possession of third place which puts RIT and Niagara at 16 points and tied for fourth. This leaves Robert Morris and Army deadlocked at 15 points for fifth place in the AHA. Nothing has changed for first and second as AIC reigns above all with 19 points and Air Force holds onto second place with 18 points. So how did the Colonials go from knocking on the door of the top three spots in the conference to making a majority of these final games must-win situations all in one night? Well, let’s get into that.

RMU’s miscues proved costly in the first period early on when some miscommunication behind the Colonial net forced a turnover and a goal for Bentley’s Luke Santerno. The Colonials were able to generate some quality chances but couldn’t match Bentley’s defensive play and push offensively.

The second frame showcased Falcons’ goaltender Aidan Pelino make save after save posting his second perfect period. Pelino stopped all 10 Colonial shots including two power play chances. Pelino’s play in net allowed his team to make some mistakes but then make up for them by bailing his team out, mostly on the power play.

Bentley’s skaters did their part in playing some staunch defense and scoring two second period goals. The two goals came from Drew Callin and team captain, Ryner Gorowsky. Robert Morris’ goaltending had a different kind of night. Francis Marotte was pulled and replaced with Dyllan Lubbesmeyer who saw his first bit of action in the 2018-19 season tonight.

In no way were the goals Marotte’s fault and after the game head coach Derek Schooley said he pulled Marotte because “I was not going to let him take the beating that they were providing him.”

The third period seemed to drag on for the Colonials. Gorowsky would score his second of the night short-handed early, a tap in goal right to the left of the net mouth to make the deficit 4-0. To make matters worse, a five minute major for cross checking and a game misconduct was given to Brendon Michaelian and the game seemed to be over with 6:57 left to play in the third period.

Then a penalty to even things up at four on four was called and the Colonials went right to work as they have all year on four on four opportunities. Immediately after the faceoff, Nick Jenny would score his first goal of the season and the Colonials had life down 4-1.

Shortly after that, a loose puck bounced right down the slot to the point and found Sean Giles’ stick which found the back of the net making this a two goal game at 4-2. With a small amount of momentum and not much time left, Schooley pulled Lubbesmeyer to give Robert Morris a chance at five on five. Sadly the comeback was halted with an empty net goal and that would be it. The Colonials lose to their third straight coming off the Three Rivers Classic games.

“I don’t understand how we can’t come out and be ready to play hockey,” Schooley said.

“We talked about playing with energy, we worked on compete level all during the week and then we come out and we’re just flat.”

This has been the second time in three games the Colonials were slow to start periods when they needed to be quick on scoring first or gaining some momentum. Schooley also commented on how the score did not emulate how his team played on Friday.

“The score of this game is not indicative of what it really was it should’ve been a lot worse and 5-2 is kind, it should have been a lot worse,” said Schooley.

The Colonials play Bentley again tomorrow at 4:05 at Colonials Arena and are in dire need of a conference win and an end to this three game skid.