Colonials’ late rally falls short against Penn State


Photo credit: Noah Simpson

Tyler Fisher

The No. 8 Robert Morris women’s hockey team faced off against Penn State on Friday at the 84 Lumber Arena, one of the last home games of the season. Despite taking a lead in the first period, RMU fell to Penn State by a score of 3-2.

The Colonials got off to a good start, finding some quality opportunities in the offensive zone. Both teams played extremely hard in this Conference Hockey America contest, with speed and physicality on display for its entirety.

The Colonials took a 1-0 lead with five minutes left in the first period on a goal from captain Rikki Meilluer. However, the lead was short lived.

Two quick Penn State goals spread over just over a minute following Meilluer’s seemed to take every bit of momentum away from the Colonials.

RMU outshot the Nittany Lions 20-6 in the first period and played relatively well, but still found itself down by a goal. Head coach Paul Colontino was asked about what happened in the minute where the Colonials gave up two quick goals.

“This late in the season, every shift matters,” Colontino said. “And when you take two shifts off like that where you are not 100 percent, it will be the difference in the game.”

Since the Colonials started the second period down by one, they came out firing on all cylinders — providing several good scoring opportunities that they could not cash in on. Although, a RMU-dominated period of play could not result in a goal.

“When you don’t score on some of those chances, it’s like you are giving a momentum boost to your opponent,” Colontino said on having so many opportunities not result in goals affected the team.

Robert Morris came out a little flat to start the third period, and it cost the team another goal five minutes into the period. Odd-man situations plagued the Colonials throughout the whole game and contributed heavily to their 3-1 deficit with 15 minutes to play.

A comeback seemed to be in the works, though, when RMU freshman Jaycee Gebhard scored with seven minutes left in the period. The team put together a few good scoring opportunities but fell short when Penn State was awarded a power play with under a minute left.

The Nittany Lions did not score even with the Colonials’ net empty, but PSU protected the puck enough to escape with the one-goal victory against the CHA front-runners.

This should be just a small bump in the road for the Colonials, as they close out their incredible regular season. Any late season loss is tough, but it should help them fix their mistakes for the conference tournament coming up.

Robert Morris will celebrate its annual senior day on Feb. 18 at 84 Lumber Arena for the second match-up with Penn State, with puck drop scheduled for 3:05 p.m.


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