PITTSBURGH– After losing in overtime 4-3 against no. 2 ranked Minnesota (7-0), the Robert Morris women’s hockey team (2-2) looked for a bounceback game on Saturday. Despite an even start, a rough third period saw the Colonials give up four goals as they lost to Minnesota 6-2.
As mentioned before, the Colonials despite being unranked and the underdogs in this series, had no problem competing with the Golden Gophers. RMU was able to pressure offensively and force the Gophers to make a costly mistake as goaltender, Sydney Scobee, misplayed the puck. Freshman Marah Wagner was able to gobble up the rebound for her first-ever collegiate goal giving RMU a 1-0 lead.
The rest of the first and second periods went very similar to the Friday overtime matchup as both teams were relying on the mistakes of the other for opportunities. The Colonials made a couple of these mistakes as Amy Potomak scored shorthanded on a goal that Arielle DeSmet would like to have back. In the second, Amy Potomak scored again on a rebound in front of the net after a breakaway making it 2-1 Minnesota.
Usually, the saying by PA announcer Larry Snyder goes “The third period is our period” and there was some truth to this early on. Emily Curlett was able to score a powerplay goal for RMU tying the game up at two. But many costly defensive mistakes and sketchy goaltending by Robert Morris allowed Minnesota to score four goals to finish off the game.
The first of these was from Madeline Washington only 39 seconds after Curlett’s goal. The power play then struggled to score for RMU, having two more chances, but the Colonial offense was shut down. The game then went downhill as Sarah Potomak, Alex Woken and Catie Skaja all scored in the final period.
“We kind of just had a tough last ten minutes but I think we played great throughout the weekend and I’m really proud of our girls. Our wings need to get out to the points a little quicker there and making sure they get the puck out and keep their feet moving,” stated Marah Wagner.
Despite this loss, the Colonials are learning and moving forward to becoming a truly elite team. We all know how good Jaycee Gebhard and Lexi Templeman are, but this weekend, the question of secondary depth truly showed for the Colonials. Paul Colontino mentioned this after the game stating the following:
“There are too many gaps in our game where we played to the level that we wanted to, and then where we dropped down to what was unacceptable. We need more people going at that level versus only a handful doing that. Because we had some players that just battled and battled and we really just needed more depth I think.”
Robert Morris will certainly look at this weekend as a huge learning experience as they were ousted by one of the best women’s hockey programs on the globe. They were able to compete and test the Gophers all weekend. Luckily for them, they get another tough test next weekend when no. 4 Clarkson comes to town. Michaela Boyle will meet her former team in at 7:05 p.m. matchup on the Island next Friday starting a two-game series.