Colonials pull a few tricks and treats for win against Pitt

Audrey Gardner, Staff Writer

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The RMU ACHA DI Hockey team returned home to take on the University of Pittsburgh on All Hallows Eve.

The team had a few tricks and treats in store for fans. Starting with a toy drive hosted Through Play it Forward, all fans who donated were entered into a raffle for team apparel. Attendees also were encouraged to dress up in costumes; fan and scratches could be found around the arena wearing Halloween gear. But the real trick of the night would come from a freshman who scored his first ever hat trick.

Although the team lost Friday night, they came out and ready to go, and they were able to do just that coming through with a 6-4 win.

“We made a couple of line-up changes, but I think they were changes we were thinking of doing anyway,” said Conrad Waite. “We just stressed for the guys to get by to our system, which is getting the puck in deep and getting on our forecheck and making sure we’re making smart plays on the puck and keeping up the intensity through 60 minutes”

Despite giving up an early goal, RMU took a 3-2 lead into the second. Alex Rowland, Justin Rehrer and Travis Reece would tally the goals for RMU. Rehrer’s 12th goal of the season came on a powerplay when Pitt sent a player to the box for tripping at 3:22. Rehrer would score just 15 seconds into the powerplay. Reece would score shorthanded as the Colonials lost Kyle Buchannan to a hooking call at 2:44.

Pitt would tie things up 3-3 with 18:22 left, but the Colonials would respond with two. Cody Brightbill and Andrew Lister would team up to make things 4-3. Rowland scored his second of the night putting RMU in the lead 5-3 with 40 minutes in the books.

Some back and forth powerplayers would leave both teams empty handed and an uneventful third scoring wise. It wouldn’t be until just over the five-minute marker when the Panthers would make it a one-goal game. With the clocking ticking and the Colonials looking to close in on the win Rowland would find his third goal of the night and get what he says is his first ever hat trick with 2:51 remaining.

“I’m surprised, honestly. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a hat trick in my entire hockey career. I never would have thought this would happen so it’s exciting to say the least,” said Rowland. “ All I really remember is Reece going wide and gave it to Dallas [Savoy] and then Dallas just gave me a sick pass and I just put the biscuit in the basket. That thing was a beauty.”

After 60, the Colonials would tally another win on the season and in conference play. The team remains home next weekend for games against Buffalo and John Carroll.