Colonials knock Lakers out of the water

Audrey Gardner, Staff Writer

The RMU ACHA DI hockey team entered their last weekend of conference play with a showdown against Mercyhurst on the horizon. The Colonials were able to bounce back from a recent loss to Pittsburgh and take the 5-2 win against their conference foe.

“It’s kind of been our focus all season of staying focused on what’s in front of us,” said assistant coach Conrad Waite. “The guys were kind of loose; sometimes it’s hard to get up after something like that. I think we started the game okay, a couple things went our way and then we kind of snowballed from there in a good way.”

Two late goals would give the Colonials a 2-0 lead heading into the second period. Justin Rehrer would record his 24th goal of the season, with help from Travis Reece and Dallas Savoy at the 4:22 mark. About a minute later, captain Cody Brightbill would help Brett Berner score goal number two.

The first goal of the second would go to the Lakers’ Joseph Zinner, cutting the lead in half at 9:08. Mason Krueger would find himself in the box with a slashing penalty at the 2:38 marker, and six seconds later Darnell Clarke would head to the box for Mercyhurst. A short 4-on-4 opportunity would lead to a goal for both teams: Rehrer would find the back of the net at 2:11, while Mercyhurst scored at 1:09, making it a 3-2 game. Krueger would net the Colonials’ extra goal with 38 seconds left, giving the RMU a two-goal advantage going into the third.

The lone goal in the final frame would come from Rehrer, giving him a hat trick, and his 26th goal of the year.

“I’m just trying to be consistent every single day, with school, with working out, just all the little things. I’m trying to that and trying to do the same thing every day,” Rehrer said. “I think that’s kind of what lead to my success on the ice so far.”

Starting goaltender Joakim Axen had 30 saves on 32 shots while the team was 1 for 5 on the powerplay. Aside from powerplays, there were several 4-on-4 opportunities throughout the game, something the team has been working on over the course of the season.

“We do work on it a good bit in practice. Whenever we scrimmage we’ll do 5-on-5 and 4-on-4, get everybody some practice in it,” said Waite. “I think we have a lot of team speed, so 4-on-4 can be pretty advantageous for us, and I think tonight we got a goal in it, which really turned a lot of momentum in the game, so I leave that up to the guys that they’ll do them well.”

The team will wrap up their regular season over the next week, as they play three games at home. They return to the Island on Monday night to take on the Duquesne Dukes.