Buckeyes overpower Colonials in home-and-home series finale


Photo credit: David Auth

Lea Chocolas and Lea Chocolas

The Robert Morris Colonials lost their third straight game and their second home-and-home game 3-1 against the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday night.

In the first period, both the Colonials and Buckeyes were getting chances, but the pucks weren’t going in. Colonial left-winger Robert Powers had a fantastic shot at giving the Colonials a 1-0 lead, but the puck hit the crossbar.

Colonial right-winger Timmy Moore had a few grade-A chances, but Buckeye goalie Sean Romeo wasn’t allowing any pucks behind him.

The first period might have been the Colonials’ period, but the Buckeyes came back and battled hard in the second period. Ohio State had many opportunities to score but Colonials goalie Andrew Pikul showed the Buckeyes he can be a brick wall.

Halfway through the second period, Pikul made a perfect glove save on Buckeyes forward Matthew Weis, who on the breakaway looked for a shorthanded goal to put the Buckeyes on the board first.

The scoring magic happened in the third period however, Buckeyes defenseman Matt Miller opened the third period with a goal past Pikul. The Colonials were sloppy in the start of the third period and couldn’t find chances to bang some in.

Ten minutes later, the Colonials tied the score with a power-play goal by left winger Alex Tonge with assists to Michael Louria and Brady Ferguson. The Colonials could have stolen the lead and made it 2-1, but the goal was waved off.

With four minutes remaining in the period, Ohio State forward Tanner Laczynski stole the lead to make it 2-1. Then Laczynski scored again with an empty-netter with less than a minute left to make it 3-1.

Coach Schooley was expecting his players to play a full 60 minutes, play better defense and not allow easy goals tonight, but unfortunately, that wasn’t what the Colonials did.

“I expected work ethic,” Schooley said. “I expected better defense and go out there and play 60 minutes. We can’t go out and allow easy goals. We have an easy goal again tonight, and the last game-winner was an easy goal, and you want to make sure you’re tougher on people and you get people away from the puck, and we didn’t do that.”

Andrew Pikul made 37 saves Saturday night, and Coach Schooley praised him after the game, saying he’s the reason why the Colonials stayed in the game.

“Andrew was outstanding,” Said Schooley. “He was the single reason why we were in the game as long as we were.”

Pikul said the Colonials are getting to where they need to be, but they have to pick up a few loose strings.

“I think we’re almost there. We’re really really close,” Pikul said. “I think we just have to tighten up a couple areas and try to limit one or two more mistakes. We need to fix broken plays like the empty-net goal, and it seems like every game we see too many of those.”

Pikul, an Ohio native, said it’s cool to play Ohio State because he has friends who are on the team.

“It’s pretty cool,” Pikul said. “I had a lot of buddies from high school graduate and go to Ohio State, and I know a few guys on the team. It’s pretty cool experience.”

Pikul enjoys and appreciates the crowded stands with supportive fans especially in big games like tonight.

“It’s awesome. The crowd was super into it, the band was getting everyone into it, the lacrosse players were down in the corner as usual, so it was really nice to see everyone come out, and it’s obviously a huge game for us, against a good opponent,” Pikul said.

The Colonials are home next Friday and Saturday as they host Holy Cross in Atlantic Hockey Conference play. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m.