Colonials set to face off against American International

Matt Polaski

Brooke Smith, Sports Editor

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The Robert Morris NCAA men’s hockey team will open their best of three Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) playoff series against American International (AIC) this Friday at 7:35pm at the RMU Island Sports Center.

Head coach Derek Schooley knows that his team is prepared for their first round matchup.

“This is what you play for all year.  You play to make sure you get the best seed you possibly can,” said Schooley.  “Obviously we would have liked to have had the bye, but that’s done with. We have home ice, we’ve played well on home ice. We’ve played very well our past 6 games so I think we’re as prepared as we can be and playing as well as we could be at this time.”

The Colonials realize that it will be very important to score the first goal of the game.

“In our past games that we scored the first goal we usually go on with a lot of momentum,” said junior defenseman, Brendan Jamison.  “We’re a great third period team so when we score the first goal it usually leads to a good second period and always leads to a good third.”

They also know that it is very important to get the first win of the series.  “It gives you all of the momentum for the weekend,” said Jamison.  “If you can get that first win under your belt and in our home rink, I think we’ll be able to get the second one pretty easily.”

Something the Colonials will be focusing on is playing a full 60 minutes, which is something they struggled with through parts of the season.

“We’ve had problems with that at times this year, but lately we’ve been doing a lot better playing a full 60 minutes,” said sophomore forward, Colin South. “We know in the playoffs you can’t let up for 1 minute or even 1 second at any part of the game.”

Coach Schooley also noted that just because AIC finished 10th out of 12 teams does not mean that the Colonials are guaranteed a series win.

“Just because they were a 10th place teams doesn’t mean you can take nights off because you know they’re a good hockey team and they played very well down the stretch as well.  Whoever plays well advances,” said Schooley. “If they come into our building and win two games in the series, hats off to them, but I like our hockey team and I like our chances and I like the way we’ve been playing so we just need to keep playing that way.”

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