Ending the drought

RMU ends its four game losing streak with shutout over RIT.


Ross Byrne

RMU’s late game surge lifted them to there tenth win of the season.

Sarah Heastings, Staff Reporter

In the second to last game of the season, the Robert Morris University Colonials (15-13-5, 7-8-4) broke their four game losing streak with a 2-0 shutout win over the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers (7-25-1, 3-15-1) at 84 Lumber Arena.

Getting over tough losses to Mercyhurst and Syracuse, Robert Morris set to the ice to get back to their game. After a week’s worth of preparation, all the players’ hard work finally paid off.

Though the first period started off a bit slow, the Colonials outshot the Tigers 13-4. RMU tested Tiger netminder Jetta Rackleff at every opportunity. Despite the barrage, the period remained scoreless.

Each team had only one player serve time in the penalty box in the first period. Kendall Cornine of RIT sat for two minutes on a tripping call at 9:35, and defender Kirsten Welsh of RMU did time for holding at 14:14.

In the beginning of the second, fans thought they were going to be in for a slow period. The pace had slowed, and both teams exchanged passes in the neutral zone. It wasn’t until Mallory Rushton’s (RIT) penalty at 3:48 that Bobby Mo saw the net.

The Colonials worked the puck around the offensive zone until it landed on the stick of forward Brittany Howard. Howard knocked it in from just outside the crease, and put Robert Morris on the board on the power play. She was assisted by forward Maeve Garvey and goaltender Jessica Dodds. It was Howard’s fifteenth goal of the season.

About three minutes later, Howard found herself again with the puck on the outside of the crease. Shooting, the puck cleared Rackleff, and found itself in the back of the net. The crowd went crazy as Brittany Howard celebrated her sixteenth goal of the season, and her team’s two goal advantage.

The period ended with only three penalties, all to RIT players. Rushton was called for checking at 3:48, Haley Northcote was called for hooking at 10:38, and Darcy Henderson was called for interference at 14:08.

Though there were no more goals scored in the period, the momentum of the game had clearly turned in favor of the hometown favorites. They looked faster, stronger,  and more powerful as the second period wore on.

“We just wanted that one. We just wanted to break the ice, so we kept strong through the second period and it turned out well for us,” said Howard.

The third period kept the fast pace, but the Tigers seemed to come alive. The fans saw more retaliation, and play that told the Colonials “We’re not going down easily.” RMU kept firm command though, and Dodds stood tall to make big saves to keep RIT off the scoreboard.

Robert Morris continued to shoot the puck, bringing their total shots for the night to 41-16 against struggling RIT.

Fans continued to wait for Brittany Howard to score a hat trick. She came close on multiple occasions, as well as captain Ashley Vesci, but Rackleff shut down the Colonials offense.

Three Colonials served time in the penalty box. Defender Leah Carlson served two minutes for high sticking at 7:54, Maeve Garvey served two for cross-checking at 10:22, and Jessica Gazzola served two for checking at 14:00. They were accompanied by Tiger Reagan Rust, who sat in the box on a tripping call at 10:14.

The game ended in a 2-0 victory for Bobby Mo, and ended their four game losing streak. The girls were overjoyed, and embraced each other after the final buzzer. Singing and swaying to the RMU Alma Mater, they joined in a sort of can-can, happy to be together, joking around, grateful to be out of their slump. They also celebrated another victory. With the win over RIT, RMU had clinched home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs, a huge advantage.

“It’s gonna be sweet for sure,” said Howard, on having home ice advantage. “We’re excited to play in front of our home fan base, and home is always nice. We have our own locker room, our own ice, it’s sweet. We’re excited for sure.”   

The three stars of the game were, in order (from first to third), Brittany Howard, Jessica Dodds, and Maeve Garvey. The Colonials will be back in action on Feb. 20 at 84 Lumber Arena against RIT. Puck drop is at 3:05, with a tribute to the seniors before the game and is the Colonials’ final game of the regular season.