PREVIEW: Men’s hockey to take on #18 Bowling Green in early-week tilt

Justin+Addamo+fends+off+Connor+McDonald+in+the+last+meeting+between+these+two+teams+in+2018.+Photo+Credit%3A+David+Auth

Justin Addamo fends off Connor McDonald in the last meeting between these two teams in 2018. Photo Credit: David Auth

By Tyler Gallo, Copy Editor

NEVILLE ISLAND– Robert Morris men’s hockey (3-1, 1-1 AHA) is set to rekindle their rivalry with a non-conference foe when they take on the #18 USCHO ranked Bowling Green Falcons (2-1, 0-0 WCHA) on Tuesday for their first of two matchups this season. The teams will face off again on December 29 at the Slater Family Ice Arena in Bowling Green.

Last Time Out:

The two teams last faced off in 2018-19, splitting a home-and-home series with each other in October of that season. The Colonials took game one on Neville Island by a score of 3-2 with Alex Tonge scoring the game-winner midway through the third period. The Falcons responded two days later by routing the Colonials 6-0 in Bowling Green. That game one victory is, to date, the only time the Colonials have beaten the Falcons, as the Colonials have a 1-3-1 record all-time versus Bowling Green, with other games previously played during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

Recapping RMU:

The Colonials will look to defend home ice after a solid showing to start the season, sweeping Alabama-Huntsville (0-2) and splitting a two-game set with conference opponent Canisius (1-1, 1-1 AHA). Their 3-1 start is the best since the 2014-15 season, a season where RMU started 4-0. On Saturday, the Colonials came out on top in a back-and-forth affair with the Golden Griffins 5-4 after Randy Hernandez buried a late goal for the victory.

Previewing Bowling Green:

The Falcons come to town after rolling through a sweep of Adrian College (2-4), a series where they outscored the Bulldogs 11-2 in two games, including a 5-0 shutout by goaltender Zack Rose in game one on November 21. The squad was ranked no. 18 in the USCHO preseason poll, garnering 140 votes to finish 18th.

Players to Watch:

Jordan Timmons (RMU) – Timmons, a transfer from Connecticut, has exploded since joining the team, picking up three goals and an assist in his first four games as a Colonial, doubling his previous point output over two seasons with the Huskies. After a two-goal first game as a Colonial, he would add his third goal of the season and NCAA career in game two of the Canisius series. Riding the hot hand may apply here, and Timmons needs to be controlled by the Falcons to neutralize RMU’s chances of winning.

Grant Hebert (RMU) – Hebert has started the season hotter than he ever has as a Colonial, scoring two goals and three assists in the first four games of the season. He currently sits at a 35-point pace, which would shatter his previous season-high of 12. Hebert would need to be slowed down by the Falcons in order for the Colonials to struggle in this game.

Max Johnson (BGSU) – Johnson, a senior, has gotten off to a prolific goal-scoring start to this season, picking up two apiece in each game of the Adrian series, and is just two away from tying his goal output from the previous campaign, a season where he scored 25 points. By scoring his second goal in game one, he joined the 100-point club for his career at Bowling Green. He is a shot that needs to be controlled for the Colonials to have a chance in this one.

Brandon Kruse (BGSU) – Kruse, also a senior, is the Falcons’ third-highest returning scorer from last season, picking up 35 points during his junior campaign, and he certainly has had a rollicking start to this season, picking up a goal and three assists in the series against Adrian. He has already surpassed 100 career points at Bowling Green and is definitely a player RMU needs to keep an eye on.

Prediction:

While RMU certainly has the momentum after a solid start to their season, I think Bowling Green has the upper hand in this matchup as they have in prior meetings and they will take this game by a score of 3-1.