Colonials drop heartbreaker to no. 2 Minnesota in overtime


Photo credit: Dalton Link

Jonathan Hanna, Sports Assistant Editor

PITTSBURGH– After a week’s rest, the Robert Morris women’s hockey team (2-1) was back in action Friday afternoon as they took on the no. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-0). Despite a strong performance and taking the Gophers to overtime, the Colonials dropped the game by a score of 4-3.

Although the Colonials played the Golden Gophers strong in the first 10 minutes, it was Minnesota that struck first. Sarah Potomak grabbed the puck after a faceoff tie-up and slotted it through the five-hole with nine minutes gone in the first. For the entire period in fact, Robert Morris kept up with no. 2 Minnesota, and eventually tied it up as Anjelica Diffendal found Natalie Marcuzzi in front of the net to tie the game at 1-1 with just under two minutes to play.

At the end of one, the Colonials and Golden Gophers were tied 1-1, with Sarah Potomak getting the goal for Minnesota, and Natalie Marcuzzi scoring the goal for Robert Morris. Although the Colonials were outshot 14-8, seven Colonials shots were blocked by the Gophers.

In the second period, it was all about the penalty kill for the Colonials. Five penalties were called on Robert Morris, and four of the five penalties were killed off. Gebhard got the scoring going for RMU in the period, putting home a rebound from an Emily Curlett blast to put the Colonials up 2-1.

However, the Colonials march to the penalty box did bite them, as Alex Woken poked one under Raygan Kirk’s pad to tie the game up at 2-2 on the powerplay. And, at the end of two, the score was tied 2-2.

The Colonials again were outshot 13-9, but so far in the game, were also trailing in terms of shots attempted. The Golden Gophers had attempted 60 total shots compared to the Colonials 34. Robert Morris sacrificed the body in the second, blocking 11 shots, to bring the two-period total to 20.

In the third frame of play, the Colonials had a great chance on a 5-on-3 power play, but Minnesota goaltender Sydney Scobee made a few great saves to keep the game at 2-2. It was Gracie Ostertag who broke the tie for the Golden Gophers, floating a wrister through traffic that beat Kirk glove high.

With Raygan Kirk pulled for the extra attacker, it was Clarkson transfer Michaela Boyle who scored the game-tying goal, putting her backhander past the diving Minnesota netminder.

On her goal, Boyle described it as “step one: don’t let it hit you; ‘cause it hurts. So I kind of just came from the sidewall, and I said to myself ‘gotta get moving, gotta keep moving’ and [Sydney] Scobee just happened to kick it out on my backhand. And I was just like ‘dear God, let this go in the net’, and when it did, I think I blacked out. All I remember was being on the ice with Lexi [Templeman]”. This goal marks Boyle’s third goal in a Colonials sweater and fourth point in the young season.

In overtime, on the powerplay, it was Minnesota who got the last laugh. Amy Potomak somehow squeezed the puck under Raygan Kirk and it dribbled its way into the net to give the Golden Gophers the 4-3 win in overtime.

After 61:17 of play, the Colonials were outshot by the Gophers 37-27. However, Robert Morris also added 28 blocked shots, including 12 by junior defenseman Emily Curlett. After the game, Curlett said, “I’m feeling good actually… It’s not just me blocking shots (Sarah Lecavalier also had six), they save goals and they get the bench alive… I think that putting yourself second and the team first is a great way to get everybody moving.”

One area the game was riddled was penalties. There was a total of 16 penalties, nine by the Colonials and seven by the Golden Gophers. On the special teams opportunities, head coach Paul Colontino said, “it is hard, lines get mixed up, a lot of players see a lot of the same situation. We had players that logged a lot of ice time, through special teams and 5-on-5.”