Schooley: ‘We need to bring a harder work ethic’ as men’s hockey preps for Bentley


PITTSBURGH — The men’s hockey team stands for the national anthem against Bowling Green on 10/12/18 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media).

Jonathan Hanna, Contributor

PITTSBURGH — After a sweep of the Holy Cross Crusaders (10-21-5, 10-14-4 AHA)last weekend, the Colonials men’s hockey team (14-20-2, 11-15-2 AHA) preps for a best-of-three game series this weekend against the Bentley Falcons (16-13-5, 15-9-4 AHA) in Waltham, Massachusetts.

RMU Sentry Media went to practice Tuesday to ask head coach Derek Schooley, Nick Lalonde and Kyle Horsman what the team needed to do to beat the Falcons.

Lalonde, who scored the series-clinching goal with 6:15 left in the third, said, “It was a big scramble out in front, and some really good board-play. Their goalie made a great save on (Justin) Addamo, and the puck popped out to (Luke) Lynch. I saw it sitting in the slot, almost over the goal line, so I just jammed it over the line.”

Coming into the series, the Colonials have won their last four, and haven’t lost in five, Nick Lalonde spoke about the confidence the team has, stating, “I think the team’s really confident right now, being able to put two sweeps back-to-back is pretty hard to do in Atlantic Hockey and college hockey in general. So we’re definitely happy with it.”

Last time the RMU and Bentley met, the Falcons swept the Colonials by a combined score of 10-3. Coach Derek Schooley, when asked about that series, stated, “We looked back and looked at the game, it really wasn’t the game plan; they outworked us. Everything that they did, they did better than us.”

Over the past eight games, the Colonials have brought that extra effort, with each game being close within the final 10 minutes. Senior forward Kyle Horsman said, “Pressures up and the tensions high, but I think that’s kind of what we play for; the team that goes out there obviously wants it more gets it done. I definitely think we’ve succeeded with that over the past few weeks.”

When asked about what needed to be done against Bentley to advance to the American Hockey Association semifinals at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York, the main theme put forward was effort. Horsman said, “We just keep out-battling guys, out-working, out-performing at both ends of the ice.” Coach Schooley added, “We need to bring a harder work ethic than the last time we played them in January.”

While not mentioning a complete gameplan, Schooley did hint at keeping the lines the same, stating, “It’s working. We’ve had them together the last four games, and we’re probably going to keep them the same. We’re unbeaten in five, and a winning streak of four, you don’t change it if it’s not broken.”

Game one between Bentley and Robert Morris is Friday, game two is Saturday and, if necessary, game three will be on Sunday. Puck drop for all three games is at 7:05 p.m.