PITTSBURGH– The Robert Morris University women’s hockey team (2-3-1) looked to defeat Clarkson University (4-1-1) after settling for a draw on Friday, October 18 against them. Both teams came out with urgency in the Saturday afternoon matchup.
Clarkson began the scoring with Gabrielle David finding the rebound after Colonials’ goalie, Arielle DeSmet, made a difficult left-pad save. Almost exactly five minutes later, Clarkson would capitalize on a wrist shot from the blue line by Lauren Bernard, making the score 2-0.
The ice began to tilt the other way after Robert Morris’ first powerplay halfway through the period. Maggy Burbidge tallied her first goal of the season at 13:58. Then on the Colonials’ second powerplay, Michaela Boyle would bury her fourth goal of the season just one minute and fourteen seconds before the first period ended.
The second period was an intense back-and-forth battle between the two powerhouses. Emily Curlett would kick off the period by scoring on the powerplay (3:09), giving the Colonials their first lead of the game. Clarkson then made a goaltending change. The starter Amanda Zeglen was replaced by Marie-Pier Coulombe.
Clarkson would counter with two power-play goals of their own. David would score her second of the game on Clarkson’s first powerplay of the period (10:26). Michaela Pejzlova then scored on the powerplay that occurred shortly after David’s goal (12:24). Clarkson would then regain the lead 4-3.
The third period began with the Colonials being rewarded a 5-on-3 powerplay. Curlett would score with one second remaining on the 5-on-3 powerplay to tie the game and 4 (2:16). However, the Golden Knights were awarded a 5-on-3 powerplay in the second half of the period.
Robert Morris were able to pressure Clarkson to turn over the puck. Curlett gained control of the puck and put her pass right onto the tape of Gebhard’s stick, where she came in on a breakaway and scored a beautiful top-shelf goal to give Robert Morris a 5-4 lead. “It was pretty exciting,” Gebhard stated about her shorthanded goal. “I was just trying to skate as fast as I can and I set it up top corner.”
Within the final minute of the period, Elizabeth Giguere would score her fourth goal of the season and her fourth point of the game (19:07). The shot trickled in past DeSmet, which forced overtime with the score tied at 5.
There was action on both sides of the ice, but it wasn’t until there were 16 seconds remaining in the game where David would find the loose rebound and fire it home into the open net, giving her the hat trick and her team a 6-5 overtime win.
After the emotional loss, Gebhard had some optimism, saying, “We’ve learned that we can definitely play with anybody. We’re gonna start winning these types of games the more we learn.”
The powerplay was also something to note over the series. Robert Morris cashed in on six of their 15 opportunities with the extra attacker. Despite that, Clarkson scored on five of their 14 powerplays this weekend.
“We work so hard in practice every week trying out different things,” Gebhard said about the powerplay. “We don’t want to become predictable.”
The Colonials return to action on Friday, October 25 to face off against Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Puck drop is 6:00 p.m.