PITTSBURGH– Robert Morris University Women’s Hockey (4-5-1, 2-0 CHA) has a plethora of talented hockey players. This weekend against Penn State (3-6-3, 0-2 CHA) was a testament to what they are capable of. RMU completed the two-game sweep of Penn State on Saturday afternoon to go 22-4-6 all-time against the Nittany Lions. Michaela Boyle notched a hat-trick and Raygan Kirk captured her first NCAA shutout in this 5-0 win for Robert Morris.
The top line for the Colonials came to play, as the line of Jaycee Gebhard ended the game with five points and Michaela Boyle notched a hat trick. The power-play continued its dominance, as well for RMU, adding two goals. Defensively, the team gave up 30 shots and Raygan Kirk was there to stop them all, getting her first shutout as a Colonial.
“It feels pretty good, I was hoping no one was going to jinx it in the stands or on the bench, but it feels pretty good. The girls played great in front of me, so that definitely helped,” stated Kirk.
Robert Morris outscored Penn State 10-2 on the weekend, with five goals coming in both games. The first of which in this game was scored by redshirt sophomore Michaela Boyle, who scored her team-leading seventh goal of the year just 29 seconds in. However, Boyle’s lead for team goals was then tied by senior captain Jaycee Gebhard later on in the first period. Gebhard patiently waited for an opening and sniped it making it 2-0 after the first.
The line of Gebhard, Boyle and Templeman wasn’t done though, as Boyle re-captured her team lead in goals and didn’t look back. Boyle scored on the backhand late in the second for her eighth goal of the year, making it 3-0 RMU. Not long after the Colonials power-play, which features the Boyle-Gebhard-Templeman line, scored yet again. This time it was Emily Curlett from the point who scored her NCAA-leading seventh power-play goal.
Before the third period could end, Michaela Boyle finished off her hat-trick night with her ninth goal of the year. Boyle was able to deflect an Emily Curlett shot and capture her first-ever NCAA hat-trick performance. When asked about the chemistry level Boyle has had with her linemates she stated the following:
“It is hard work and our compete level and intensity. Jaycee and Lexi push me to be better every single day and I can’t thank them enough for that as it rises my level of intensity and pushes me to be better. It feels great (to score), it makes me happy, but honestly, without the two of them putting the puck on my stick it wouldn’t be able to happen.”
Raygan Kirk and the Colonials then finished things up in the third with a dominant 5-0 win. Robert Morris is now perfect in CHA play with a four-point weekend and is also now 22-4-6 all-time against Penn State.
“This weekend was huge for our confidence as a group and move forward realizing that not every team is going to be able to shut us out. We really wanted the redemption this weekend,” added Michaela Boyle
After facing a plethora of top-ranked opponents such as Minnesota, Clarkson and Cornell, RMU wanted to hit the reset button with this weekend. A rough first period in game one caused some concern, but for the last five periods, RMU has shown that they are a force to be reckoned with.
“I think we just really turned it around in the dressing room. We have a great group of leadership so they really just gave us the push that we needed and the last five periods we stood out and played a great game. It is definitely different hockey, but I think we adjusted right and we worked on everything that we needed to do in practice. We focused on the game one period at a time and the girls played really great,” added Raygan Kirk on the play of the team this weekend.
The Colonials go back on the road next week, as they head to Lindenwood (2-6-2, 0-2 CHA) for another CHA matchup. The series will start on Friday in Wentzville at 8:10 p.m. and then will conclude on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.