Colonials’ offense strikes hard in sweep of Union


Photo Credit: Thomas Ognibene

Jonathan Hanna, Assistant Sports Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP — After winning their first game of the season against Union (0-2), the Robert Morris women’s hockey team (2-0) was back in action on Neville Island against the ECAC foe on Saturday afternoon. The Colonials were able to sweep the Dutchwomen in dominating fashion, winning the game by a score of 5-0 and outscoring them in the series 11-1.

Starting in net for the Colonials was sophomore Arielle DeSmet after freshman Raygan Kirk’s great performance the night beforehand. Robert Morris started the game similar to how they finished the previous night; showing their attacking prowess. At the 8:17 mark of the first period, the Colonials scored their first of the game as Clarkson transfer Michaela Boyle scored the first goal of her Robert Morris career on the powerplay with assists going to Jaycee Gebhard and Gillian Thompson.

With the Colonials seemingly dominating puck possession in the first, Union’s best chance of the period occurred when Helen Markovic got behind the defense, deked DeSmet out of the net; and pushing the puck just past the right post.

At the end of one period of play, the Colonials led the Dutchwomen 1-0 off of the goal from Boyle. The assists went to captain Jaycee Gebhard and Gillian Thompson. For Gebhard, this was her sixth point in only two games this year. Robert Morris led in shots 10-7 but had attempted 26 as compared to 14 for Union.

The penalties in the first were 2-1, with the Colonials penalties going to Mackenzie Krakowski for cross-checking and Maggy Burbidge for interference. The lone Union penalty went to freshman Emma Michalicka for tripping.

Starting off the second, the Colonials were able to get a chance early when a puck found Lexi Templeman wide open in the slot, but Templeman smoked the wrister off the boards behind the net. With 17:36 remaining in the period, Union had a sanderous chance, with the puck bouncing up in the crease near DeSmet, but she was able to reach up and grab the puck, stopping any chances.

5:00 into the period, Gebhard had a great opportunity for her seventh point of the season, but the pass to Lexi Templeman in the slot was kicked aside by Bella McKee, the freshman from Irma, Alberta.

After a hooking penalty on a 3-on-1, the Colonials were able to capitalize just 26 seconds into the penalty as Emily Curlett found Michaela Boyle for her second goal of the night to make it 2-0 Robert Morris.

After another Union penalty with about 10 minutes left in the period, the Colonials were able to make it 3-0 as Emily Curlett was able to knock one out of the air in the crease, dropping past the goal line. The assists for the Colonials third power-play goal of the night went to Lexi Templeman and Sarah Lecavalier. With just under 3:30 remaining in the period, Leah Marino scored her first of the season on an easy tip-in from Maggy Burbrige to give the Colonials a 4-0 lead. Burbrige’s assist marked the freshman’s first point as a Colonial. Allyson Hebert, whose brothers Cameron and Grant play for the men’s team, was also credited with an assist.

At the end of two periods of play, Robert Morris led the Dutchwomen of Union College by a score of 4-0. The Colonials goals in the second going to Leah Marino, Emily Curlett and Michaela Boyle’s second of the game.

Less than two minutes into the period, Robert Morris was able to extend their lead to 5-0 as Mackenzie Krasowski deked everyone inside, outside, upside, and downside before roofing a backhander top-shelf. On her goal, Krasowksi described it as “happening so quickly, I didn’t really know what was happening; I just thought ‘move your feet as fast as you can’ and I tried to create some space.”

Except for Curlett’s goal, all of the goals were scored by sophomores. Talking about the amount of leadership and skill from the underclassmen, head coach Paul Colontino said “when you can get scoring up and down your lineup, it’s great. You can’t be a team that relies on one or two players every weekend or every night. You have to be a team where every single player recognizes their role in the offense, because we never know, honestly, who’s going to get those ‘grade A’ scoring opportunities.”

For the rest of the third, Robert Morris played defensively, not really taking many offensive opportunities, and not giving Union any chances of their own. However, when the horn went off to signify the end of the third, the Colonials walked away victorious with a 5-0 win over the Union College Dutchwomen.

Offensively in the game, the Colonials took a total of 69 shots, with 29 of them reaching the net. The goals for Robert Morris came from Clarkson transfer Michaela Boyle, who had two, and one each for Mackenzie Krazowski, Emily Curlett, and Leah Marino. Jaycee Gebhard continued her great start to the year with two assists, while Gillian Thompson and Lexi Templeman also added two assists on the night.

In net, Arielle DeSmet made a total of 21 saves in the shutout victory, the second of her career. On her performance, DeSmet said “they definitely had a few scoring opportunities in front. I think we played really well offensively, but still need to work on our defensive zone coverage.” Among the defensive corps, there is only one senior, being alternate captain Sarah Lecavalier. DeSmet also spoke about the younger defensive units, saying “we’ve really been working on our communication. We’re using a new d-zone coverage this year, so just getting that under our belts is something we’re working on.”

Next up for the Colonials is a week’s break before their toughest portion of the schedule; hosting the Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-0) and the Clarkson Golden Knights (2-0), the no. 2 and no. 1 teams in the country, respectively. Robert Morris faces Minnesota on October 11 and 12 and hosts Clarkson the following weekend.

On the tough upcoming schedule, Coach Colontino said “we’ll break down the video from this weekend pretty extensively (because we have two weeks to prepare) for our next opponents. We’ll spend a lot of time addressing any exposure we got from our opponents this weekend and fixing it so we don’t see it happen again.”