Colonials ready for Mercyhurst and AHA playoffs


PITTSBURGH — The Robert Morris Colonials celebrate after a goal against Bowling Green (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media).

Jonathan Hanna, Contributor

PITTSBURGH — After a loss and a tie to rival RIT (15-13-4, 13-9-4 AHC) last weekend, the Robert Morris men’s hockey team (10-20-2, 9-15-2 AHC) are prepping for their last series of the year; a home-and-home with the Mercyhurst Lakers (13-16-5, 11-11-4 AHC).

As they look forward to not only the series against Mercyhurst, as playoffs come closer, there is a multitude of options to look forward in terms of matchups. Per RMU Athletics, the Colonials have the possibility of playing Sacred Heart, Mercyhurst, Niagara, Holy Cross and Army West Point. The team could also rise as high as eighth and host a opening round; or they could finish in ninth or tenth and start on the road.

When asked about the possibility of the advantage about hosting a playoff series, head coach Derek Schooley stated, “We’ve been been better on the road than at home this year (the Colonials have a 5-9-1 record both home and away). Historically, we’ve never lost a playoff series at home, but we’ve been pretty good on the road this year. We want to go out, and we want to play our best hockey. We’ve taken some steps the past four games, but we just haven’t gotten the results we’ve wanted.”

One Colonial who will be missed next year is captain forward Brandon Watt, who will be graduating after four years with the team. Watt commented on his tenure here, saying, “It’s been good, we had a winning culture when I got here, making the tournament a few times.”

Watt added; “I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some great players and some great people; I’ve really made some lifelong friends. It’s been a hell of a ride for sure.”

On the topic of Mercyhurst on the weekend, Watt mentioned that, “We’re really going to try and get in the playoff mindset, getting ready to play hard, and make sure we’re ready to go.”

Looking forward to next year, Watt was asked about who could be the captain, he responded by saying; “I don’t know, it’ll be hard to tell because it’ll be a new year next year, but there’s some good leaders here with (Luke) Lynch and even (Sean) Giles. There’s a ton of good leaders who I think will step up to the plate.”

Last week, Coach Schooley was at the 2019 North American Hockey League (NAHL) Top Prospects Tournament in Attleboro, Massachusetts. When asked about the pedigree of the league, Schooley said, “There’s a lot of good leagues out there, but the North American league has been very good to us. You got Brady Ferguson and Cody Wydo were both from there. But we get good players from everywhere, so we’ll go from coast-to-coast in the United States and Canada to get the best players we think we can get.”

On the Colonials roster now, there are 10 players who used to play in the NAHL; Brendon Michaelian, Nolan Schaeffer, Aidan Spellacy, Sean Giles, Nick Jenny, Kip Hoffmann, Justin Addamo, Aiden Beck, Luke Lynch and Dyllan Lubbesmeyer.