ACHA: Thrilling start sets stage for a strong season

Audrey Gardner, Staff Reporter

The RMU ACHA DI hockey team took the ice for its first game of the season Friday night. The team took on Rochester College Warriors in a heart stopping shootout victory. Dressing nine new faces with 11 returning players they set out to take on a team who is already 2 games into the season.

The Colonials started the game with Wes Heinle, Chris Howland, and Alex Dagnel up front and with Eric Barger and J.J. Bond on the blue line helping goaltender Sean Scannell. The top line combined for a total of 8 points , with Heinle recording a goal and an assist, with Dagnel and Howland each recording three points apiece in their RMU debut.

“It was good,” Howland said of his three point night. “But my linemates are the reason I did so well. I have two really great players playing beside me (Heinle and Dagnel) and we just work well together.”

Despite the late goal in the first the period set the tone for a very physical match up and later a chance for the late spark in the Colonials game. Scoring at 7:52 was Doug Lindensmith and that would give the Warriors a 1-0 leading heading into the second.

Rochester added a second tally to the board at 8:25 and after two the Colonials trailed 2-0. But the start of the third brought a whole new Colonials team.

Dagnel would be the first Colonial finding the back of the net at 15:14, recording his first career goal with the help of Howland and Heinle. At 9:39 Heinle took a pass from Howland that would tie the game 2-2.

The Warriors would stand tall and take the lead right back with a goal coming from Spenser Ashby. With 2:58 remaining Joe Boyer came up with tying goal during a 4 on 3 opportunity, forcing the overtime period.

“After the second period we kept saying we were right there, we were very close the whole night going down 2-0 into the third period we were in a good place and we knew we were doing everything well,” said Heinle. “We were out playing them, so we said we need to stick with it and continue on and that’s what we did in the third period”

When both teams came up empty handed they headed to a sudden death shootout. Heinle went first and the first shoot for Rochester would both miss. Before Joyce took the second shot of the night and the rest became history when Scannell blocked the two remaining shots, resulting in the Colonials first win.

“I saw Wes try going high glove, and the goalie was quick on it,” said Joyce. “Anyone on our team knows I can only shoot two places and its high glove or five hole, so I just buried the five hole and then Sean took care of the rest”