Syracuse silences Colonials 1-0

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Syracuse silences Colonials 1-0

Robert Morris battled through the first period. But a four-goal second period propelled the Orange to the CHA tournament title. Photo credit: Timothy Kelly

Robert Morris battled through the first period. But a four-goal second period propelled the Orange to the CHA tournament title. Photo credit: Timothy Kelly

Robert Morris battled through the first period. But a four-goal second period propelled the Orange to the CHA tournament title. Photo credit: Timothy Kelly

Robert Morris battled through the first period. But a four-goal second period propelled the Orange to the CHA tournament title. Photo credit: Timothy Kelly

By Owen Krepps, Contributor

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PITTSBURGH– Robert Morris women’s hockey (13-9-2, 7-3-0 CHA) failed to close out their Mental Health Awareness weekend games in a sweep, losing to Syracuse (7-15-1, 6-3-1 CHA) 1-0. This is the first time this season the Colonials have been shut out against a CHA opponent. RMU is still in first place in the CHA though, as Mercyhurst (12-8-4, 6-2-2 CHA) tied Penn State (9-9-6, 4-3-3 CHA) yet again 1-1. Both Mercyhurst and Robert Morris have 14 CHA points in the standings.

Syracuse started this game with a new starting goaltender, as Ady Cohen was replaced by Allison Small. Small posted a 32 save shutout which included her making key saves on breakaways and at the end of the game. Despite the loss, Raygan Kirk and the Colonial defense played well with only one shot getting by Kirk out of 23.

The first period was very back and forth, Robert Morris was cycling in the offensive zone just as well as they did last night where they scored five goals. But both goaltending and strong defensive play kept the puck out of both nets.

But offensively the Colonials were tested and found themselves in a situation they are not familiar with, being getting shut down on offense. Despite the separation of star players like Jaycee Gebhard, Michaela Boyle and Lexi Templeman, RMU was unable to find the back of the net.

“I thought defensively we did play pretty strong, we didn’t give up many opportunities. Syracuse played really good defensively and pushed up to a different level that maybe we just were quite ready to play yet,” stated head coach Paul Colontino.

In the second, the first penalties of the game were called finally and RMU got a chance to use their top powerplay. Robert Morris was given a brief five-on-three powerplay midway through the third but could not maintain solid zone pressure, failing to score.

“I think any time you are lucky enough to get a five on three, you want to cash in. But we made a couple of bad passes and a couple of bad plays and before you know it the players were coming up the ice gassed,” Colontino added.

In the third, the game was still a tight-checking game with both teams giving up little opportunities. The back of the net was finally found though as Abby Moloughney made a nice play to set up Brynn Koocher for a rebound goal. This goal came early in the third period and Syracuse had their first lead of the series.

Despite an empty net and some solid net mouth chances, Robert Morris failed to score in this contest. Koocher’s goal served as the difference maker and the Colonials gave up two important CHA points.

“What we really needed was that second and third effort in front of their net to maybe put home some of the rebounds,” stated Colontino on the late efforts to tie the game.

Robert Morris will be back home again next weekend for a matchup against Lindenwood (10-20-1, 8-12 CHA). Puck drop will be at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday respectively.