RECAP: Hernandez scores again, Colonials defeat RIT

Randy+Hernandez+buried+the+game-winning+goal+as+the+Colonials+knocked+off+RIT+in+game+one+of+their+weekend+series.+Photo+Credit%3A+Nathan+Breisinger

Randy Hernandez buried the game-winning goal as the Colonials knocked off RIT in game one of their weekend series. Photo Credit: Nathan Breisinger

By Nathan Breisinger, Sports Multimedia Editor

NEVILLE TWP, Pa.– Robert Morris men’s hockey (7-3, 5-1 AHA) began 2021 with a spark as they edged the RIT Tigers (5-2-1, 3-1 AHA), 3-1.

It came down to the 10:08 mark of the third period for the ice breaker in a 1-1 hockey game to be scored.

Randy Hernandez utilized his tremendous speed to fly down the wing maneuvering around a Tigers defender and go in on Logan Drackett to put it past him on the backhand for the game-winning goal.

“I was just coming with speed and I saw that I had a step on the guy,” Randy Hernandez said. “Just took it to the net and I didn’t know what I was going to do exactly, but luckily it went in.”

Schooley discussed how Hernandez’s quickness has contributed to his success so far this season.

“Randy is really dynamic and has great speed and I don’t know if there’s a faster player on the ice,” Schooley said. “It was obviously a big goal, but he used what his biggest asset is on that goal and that was speed.”

The freshman now has three game-winning goals, which is tops on the team for the Colonials, also leading to his nine total points on the season.

It was a tightly contested game throughout, but the Colonials struck first blood via Jordan Timmons’ eighth goal of the season. Timmons moved through the neutral zone leading to a wrap-around opportunity that beat a sprawling Drackett.

Although Timmons started the scoring for the Colonials, around the 12-minute mark of the second period, he got twisted up following a hit from Spencer Berry of RIT right in front of the Colonials bench and he appeared to suffer a serious leg injury. Timmons would be aided off the ice by his teammates and his status has still not been released.

In a winning effort, this comes as a significant loss for the team as Timmons’ eight goals account for one of the best totals in college hockey.

As play proceeded, RIT took advantage of a Nolan Schaeffer hooking penalty to make it 1-1. Jake Joffe buried an oncoming pass right below the left circle in behind Noah West.

The Tigers would be quieted from there on out as the Colonials were stout defensively in front of their netminder adding six blocked shots along the way.

“We’ve been playing pretty well defensively. We’re finding our defensive concepts that we want to do,” Schooley said. “We were really good down the stretch when it counted.”

RMU was able to keep a red-hot Tigers team that averages 4.25 goals per game entering the contest, good for third in the nation, to just one goal.

“I thought we were really good defensively. We moved the puck well and moved it up quick,” Hernandez said. “Good things happen when we do that and we just have to be consistent.”

West stopped 23 shots on 24 saves in the winning effort marking the fourth win of his young career.

“He’s given us the saves that we’ve needed when we struggle,” Schooley said. “Noah’s been outstanding… you ride the hot hand and he’s got the hot hand right now.”

West and the Colonials look to improve to 8-3 and 6-1 in Atlantic Hockey play as they face off with the Tigers in game two on Sunday at 4:05 p.m.