Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

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Penalty Problems Fault Women’s Hockey in Mercyhurst Loss


NEVILLE TOWNSHIP – In this edition of RMU Women’s Hockey (8-14-0 overall, 5-5 conference play), the Colonials welcomed Mercyhurst (11-12-1 overall, 7-3 conference play). On this snowy Friday afternoon, RMU looked for stability after splitting last weekend’s series versus Lindenwood.

The focus of this game was the penalties. Robert Morris could not stay out of the penalty box, leading to Mercyhurst having five attempts at the man advantage. With the man advantage the Lakers would score four powerplay goals, which was the biggest reason the Colonials would fall by a final score 0f 6-1.

Starting this game after splitting last weekend’s series versus Lindenwood, RMU started strong, getting pucks to the net and even getting the first powerplay opportunity when Mary Sweetapple of Mercyhurst would go off just 1:01 into the game.

During that powerplay opportunity, the Colonials would get three solid scoring opportunities but could not put the puck into the back of the net.

“We had opportunities,” head coach Logan Bittle said. “That has been us this year, though. We had opportunities in games where the powerplay got going, and we would score two or three, and sometimes they just didn’t go in, but you worry if you don’t have the chances. We had some chances tonight on the powerplay. A couple more tweaks we can make, probably.”

After that first powerplay chance for the Colonials, it would be all Mercyhurst from that moment forward. The Lakers would get five power plays throughout the game and capitalize on four.

It will always be hard to keep them out of the net when going up against the team with the second-best power play in the league. Mercyhurst entered this game second, just behind Penn State in the league’s powerplay category.

“We have to be better on our penalty kill first and foremost,” Head Coach Logan Bittle said. “4/5 on their (Mercyhurst) power play; when you give up that many powerplay goals, you don’t stand a chance to win the game. We just didn’t block shots and get into shooting lanes, and that’s what you have to do to win; as a younger team, this is a lesson that has to be learned”.

The Colonials would get a late consolation goal as Gillian Thomson would get her first goal of the season late in the game. This goal came from the Colonials having a good amount of offensive zone time and throwing pucks on the net, and eventually, one went in.

Coach Bittle was able to speak about how his team was able to get on the score sheet.

“There were a lot of won battles leading up to that. It wasn’t the prettiest play in the world. We got in, got after pucks, and won 50/50 pucks, which allowed us to contain possession. The pucks that go on the net have a chance to go in.”

When a team is down big in a game, keeping the players’ minds in the right spots and focusing might be hard. Throughout this game for RMU, the players kept fighting and showing their best effort. To keep your mind right in the game, the coach must give the right message to keep the focus.

I could ask Coach Bittle what the message was to the players when down by a big margin.

“We just have to play for each other. We are only going to be as we can be together. When we are bad, we are going to be as bad as we are together. I don’t know if there is anybody from the head coach down to anybody who can say they had their best game today, and that is as a team together,” Coach Bittle said. “The sign of a team that is together is a team that doesn’t quit, and I don’t think our team quit, especially in the last eight minutes.”

RMU will return to the ice tomorrow afternoon to rematch against Mercyhurst in the second game of this series. The puck drop is set for 2 p.m. at the Clearview Arena.


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About the Contributor
Alec Miller, Contributor
Alec Miller is a News and Sports Communication sophomore from Hampton, Pa. Alec is a writer and a photographer for CSN.