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Preview: Men’s hockey looks to extend winning streak

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Preview: Men’s hockey looks to extend winning streak

Photo credit: David Auth

Photo credit: David Auth

Photo credit: David Auth

Photo credit: David Auth

Owen Krepps, Contributor

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MOON TOWNSHIP — The Robert Morris men’s hockey team (5-6-1 overall, 4-3-1 AHC) is looking to build off of last weekend’s sweep of Mercyhurst (5-7-2 overall, 3-4-1 AHC) with their next two games coming up against Sacred Heart (2-7-2 overall, 2-5-1 AHC). The Colonials will face the Pioneers on the road in Connecticut for nonconference action this Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and 2:05 p.m. respectively.

Recapping RMU

Robert Morris was able to sweep AHC and Pennsylvania rival Mercyhurst last week with a 3-1 win at home followed by a 7-1 win in Erie. This marked the Colonials’ first road win of the season, as well as their first weekend sweep of an opponent. On top of this, the Colonials’ seven goals were the highest number of goals the team has scored this season.

The special teams play was arguably the biggest contributor to Robert Morris’ back to back wins. In the second game, five goals were scored on special teams. Four goals came on the power play, and the other one came shorthanded by Daniel Mantenuto. Justin Addamo had two goals in this series, both coming on the man advantage as well. Eric Israel had himself a weekend also as he put up a goal and two assists for three points in two games.

Scouting Sacred Heart

As for the upcoming opponent in Sacred Heart, the team seems to be struggling with a .273 win percentage and zero wins on home ice. Their last win was back on Nov. 9 as they somehow managed to beat Army (7-7-1 overall, 6-5-1 AHC) 4-2 on the road. In terms of scoring, they are led by Marc Johnstone who has one goal and six assists for seven points. Three other Pioneers, Jason Cotton, Austin Magera and Matt Tugnutt, all have six points. Compare this to the top scorers on RMU with Tonge (13 pts), Israel (10 pts) and Lynch (10 pts). Add in Addamo, LaLonde and Mantenuto who all have seven points and the odds look to be in RMU’s favor in terms of offensive star power.

As far as goaltending, Sacred Heart will likely roll with senior Brett Magnus who has started in nine games so far. Magnus owns a 2-6-1 record in between the pipes as well as a mediocre .894 save percentage. Look for Robert Morris to take advantage of this by peppering the goaltender early on.

Players to watch

Eric Israel (RMU): Ever since his return from injury mid-season Israel has given RMU the presence on the blue line that they had been lacking. Israel is great on both sides of the puck both offensively and defensively and this shows in his statistics. Despite being a defenseman, Israel is tied for second on the team in scoring where he has 10 points in only eight games. He also owns only a -1 rating, which is acceptable when Penn State scores eleven goals on you. Look for Israel to continue his Norris Trophy style of play.

Justin Addamo (RMU): One of the bright young stars on the roster, Justin Addamo is adjusting to American ice perfectly. Addamo has seven points on the year with four of them being goals. The Frenchman’s big body presence in front of the net has led to many scoring chances and goals so far in the season and he doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon. As a freshman, Addamo has been trusted with many responsibilities by Derek Schooley. With a top-nine role and a power play specialist, look for the 6’6” forward to make a difference in this series.

Kyle Horsman (SHU): Entering this season, senior Kyle Horsman started as a depth forward. He has now had such a great season he has found himself moving up in the lineup and has even been gifted some power play time. Previous to this season, Horsman had only tallied four points in his three-year career thus far. So far just this season in ten games, he has two goals and one assist for three points. Look for Horsman to continue his upward trend against Sacred Heart.

Prediction

Unless Sacred Heart can play to the level they did against Army, Robert Morris can capture and sweep this series. Robert Morris will improve their record on the road and seal both games if they don’t play down to the level of the Pioneers.

 

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About the Writer
Owen Krepps, Contributor

Owen Krepps is a freshmen at RMU pursuing a Sports Communications degree. He is currently a contributing writer for RMU Sentry Media's sports page and...

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