Colonials continue hot streak

Audrey Gardner, Staff Writer

The RMU ACHA Division I hockey team continued their hot streak as they entered their final weekend of regular season play. Three powerplay goals and a shutout for Sean Scannell would lead the Colonials to a 7-0 win in the opening game against Syracuse University.

“It’s something we’ve been working on all season [their powerplay], when our powerplay isn’t effective is when we’re not getting shots and you saw today and last weekend, one was a rebound goal, the other was a backdoor play that was opened up because everybody drifted up to the point. The third one was from behind the net and actually hitting a corner,” assistant coach Conrad Waite said. “So, it was like getting off shots when they have time and then actually putting it in the net. Those have been our two biggest weaknesses so far, and we kind of turned a corner with that. Hopefully, it stays that way.”

An uneventful first period would leave both teams with a goose egg on the board heading into the middle frame. Alex Rowland would open things up with his first of the night at the 4:55 mark with Chris Howland and Luke Chiala aiding the goal. Joe Boyer and Travis Reece teamed up to make it 2-0 before the Colonials would head to the powerplay 24 seconds later. Howland would find his first goal of the season at 16:19 during a penalty assigned to Syracuse’s Dylan Hantula.

“It’s a lot of weight on the shoulders,” said Howland. “It’s been a long time overdue, so it’s defiantly weird coming halfway through the year and just kind of jump right in midseason. It took a little bit, but I got the cobwebs out, but I think from here out things should be smooth.”

Captain Cody Brightbill added the second powerplay goal of the night at 19:30, and that would give the Colonials a 4-0 lead heading into the final period of play.

With the final frame underway, Brett Berner added his name to the scoresheet for his eighth goal of the season. At 13:55 Syracuse sent a player to the box for cross-checking, and gave RMU the man advantage. Rowland found his second goal of the night at 14:16, making the Colonials 3 for 3 on the powerplay. Dallas Savoy would add the final goal of the night at 16:55, as Reece and Ray Rose tallied the assists.

By the final buzzer the Colonials captured a 7-0 win while killing off four penalties and recording 27 shots on goal. Scannell made 26 saves on the night, and the win wasn’t a bad way to start off the weekend, especially as a senior.

“It was pretty good, I got lucky a couple of times on the posts, it was tough but you just have to stay focused and it was a big game for us,” Scannell said. “I kind of just put it in the back of my head, of having it be the last game and it feels good to graduate our four and head out, but at the same time it’s going to suck not being able to come back like I did.”

The club wraps up their 2015-2016 regular season Saturday with a 2:20 p.m. rematch against Syracuse. Senior recognition will take place after warm-ups, followed by the regular schedule of events.