Defensive core leads offense in 5-1 win over Mercyhurst


David Auth

The Robert Morris Men’s hockey team stands in unison at the blue line during the playing of the National Anthem at Colonials Arena.

Nathan Breisinger, Contributor

PITTSBURGH– After splitting the prior two matchups this week, the Robert Morris men’s hockey team (9-10-3, 9-6-3 AHC) defeated the Mercyhurst Lakers (5-16-1, 3-12-1 AHC) 5-1 thanks to a strong offensive effort from the blueline.

After being held without a goal during even-strength play on Friday night, the Colonials were not going to be denied tonight, as early on defenseman Sean Giles slapped one home from the point to give RMU a one-goal lead.

“We wanted to get more offense from our blueline,” head coach Derek Schooley said. “We needed to get more all-around scoring and Sean Giles was able to score.”

However, Mercyhurst would answer back in the second period as Steven Ipri tickled the twine to knot things up at one apiece.

From there on out it was all Colonials as Nick Prkusic would go forehand to backhand to beat Colin DeAugustine, who replaced starting goalie Garrett Metcalf earlier in the second period after he collided with a Robert Morris skater.

Brendon Michaelian then would extend the Colonial lead to two goals after receiving a pass from Luke Lynch and burying a shot from the high slot.

“Our coaches stress us jumping into the play and getting pucks to the net and when we get pucks to the net good things will happen,” Michaelian said.

To end the middle frame, both teams participated in some extracurricular activities, that would send both Paul Maust for the Lakers and Garrett Clegg for the Colonials to start in the penalty box for the third period.

“You want to make sure you take their penalties and chippiness and the only way to bounce back is to score goals,” Schooley said.

In the third period, the Colonials would make no mistake as they capitalized on their opportunities including Nick Prkusic’s second goal of the night, which was redirected from an Alex Robert point shot.

To finish off the Lakers in the final period, Michaelian would net his second goal of the contest.

“It’s definitely good to contribute and it gives us all back there a lot of confidence,” Michaelian said.

The Colonials outshot the Lakers 47-30 in this matchup and coach Schooley stressed how important it has been for Robert Morris to outshoot their opponents.

“We were a team earlier in the year getting outshot, but since the new year we have outshot every team we played and we have over 35 shots each night,” said Schooley. “That’s one of the things that we need to continue to focus on doing.”

Robert Morris will continue conference play next weekend when American International (10-11-1, 10-5-1 AHC) visits Colonials Arena for a two-game set. Puck drop on Friday will be at 7:05 followed by a 5:05 game start on Saturday.