Pitt loses to Miami, loses 3 of last 5 games but still a step forward this season. Theme in losses to Miami, North Carolina and Notre Dame-pass rush lacking-pass defense exposed. But do not suffer from last game syndrome, this is a season to build on.
Also- Robert Morris Colonials complete sweep over weekend-from RMU staff-
A late goal by David Friedmann lifts Robert Morris University men’s hockey to its’ first sweep of the season with a 5-4 victory over Sacred Heart. The senior forward’s second goal of the season came with less than five minutes remaining on a perfect centering pass by Spencer Dorowicz.
Special teams scoring once again a factor right away. Sacred Heart broke free on the penalty kill in the first, leading to an Evan Jasper shorthanded goal to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.
On that same Colonials power play, RMU answered. Brandon Denham batted home his Atlantic Hockey-leading third power play goal of the season. Daniel Leavens and Brady Ferguson received assists on the set up, leading to Denham’s ninth goal of the year, tying the game 1-1.
Score stays that way into the second period, where Robert Morris starts the frame on another power play. The Colonials power play continues to show why it leads the nation, converting yet another attempt, this time from Ferguson, with assists to David Friedmann and Chase Golightly, just :42 into the period. Twenty seconds later, Greg Gibson scores a rarity in this game, an even strength goal from Matt Cope and Zac Lynch, to put the Colonials out from 3-1.
Robert Morris returned to the penalty kill just after Gibson’s goal, and once again Lynch extended his program-record mark in shorthanded goals with his ninth score of the season. Matt Cope rushed the puck up the ice, passing to Lynch who buried the shot for his tenth career shorthanded goal, ranked number one among active NCAA players. The Pittsburgh native has a shorthanded tally in four consecutive games, a likely NCAA record for shorthanded goals in consecutive games. Lynch’s grandfather was at the rink celebrating his 80th birthday, making the goal that much more special.
“Good to see him here on his 80th birthday,” said Lynch, “he’s doing well. It was good to have him up there and score him a goal.”
The Colonials scored three goals in 2:49 to start the second period, building a 4-1 lead. Sacred Heart didn’t back down, rallying from a three-goal deficit early in the second period to tie the game 4-4 at the 3:03 mark of the third. RMU’s penalty kill fought off four more minutes of 5-on-4 time in the third.
“We’ve got to make sure we do a better job to extend that lead,” said Head Coach Derek Schooley. “We allowed them back in the game. It went from a 4-1 lead to a 4-4 game before you know it.”
With less than five minutes to play, Dorowicz won a puck battle along the boards and centered the pass right on the stick of Friedmann, who scored his second of the weekend to put RMU ahead 5-4.
Robert Morris swept Sacred Heart with the 6-3 win Saturday and 5-4 Sunday, the team’s first sweep of the season.
“Anytime you get four points in a weekend, you’ve got to be happy with that,” said Schooley. “At the end of the day, the most important thing is four points and we got four points.”
“I told the guys afterwards that was the best thing about today was four points,” continued Schooley. “It’s hard to win. There’s so much emotion, you can’t let teams back in games. But we got the four points. I would take winning ugly over losing pretty.”
A quick turnaround from the Sunday game for the Colonials (7-2-3, 6-1-3 AHC), with a road trip to Rochester Institute of Technology next Friday and Saturday.
1. David Friedmann (RMU)
2. Jordan Minello (SHU)
3. Zac Lynch (RMU)
– RMU continues to lead the nation in power play success, converting at a 33.3% rate.
– Robert Morris continues to be the highest scoring goals/per game team in college hockey, averaging 4.58 g/pg
– Zac Lynch is the nation’s 4th highest scorer with 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists)
– Lynch, Brandon Denham and Greg Gibson are tied for the team lead in goas with 9 apiece.