Men’s hockey falls to Air Force 2-0

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Men’s hockey falls to Air Force 2-0

PITTSBURGH -- The men's hockey team stands for the national anthem against Bowling Green on 10/12/18 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media).

PITTSBURGH -- The men's hockey team stands for the national anthem against Bowling Green on 10/12/18 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media).

PITTSBURGH -- The men's hockey team stands for the national anthem against Bowling Green on 10/12/18 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media).

PITTSBURGH -- The men's hockey team stands for the national anthem against Bowling Green on 10/12/18 (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media).

Josh Selzer, Contributor

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MOON TOWNSHIP– The RMU men’s hockey team (7-5-0, 7-2-0 AHA) came into tonight’s matchup with some momentum to build off of, taking a two-game series against Bentley (3-8, 2-7 AHA) and currently riding a four-game winning streak. The Colonials took the first matchup 6-4 and then they took the second matchup 4-2. Looking to build off of that series, they took on the Air Force Falcons (4-7-0, 4-3-0 AHA) at home Friday night. Both teams came into this matchup looking for a big-time win, but it looked as if Air Force wanted it more, beating the Colonials by a score of 2-0.

Early on in the first period, the Falcons had taken it to the Colonials, as they were all over RMU and were dominating in puck possession. The Falcons’ hard work eventually paid off, as senior Trevor Stone scored the first goal 9:27 into the first period, it was assisted by defenseman Jake Levin. The Falcons took control for pretty much the whole period, leading in shots on goal 14-6.

The second period turned out to be worse for the Colonials. Air Force dominated, even more, generating ten more shots on goal than RMU, and continued to hone the Colonials in their own end. The Falcons scored another goal 8:54 into the second period to show for their hard work when the Colonials got caught in a bad change and Max Harper went in alone on a breakaway and beat goaltender Justin Kapelmaster on the backhand.

While the first 40 minutes turned out to be rough for the Colonials, they fought back much harder in the third period, leading in shots on goal and possessing the puck more in the offensive zone. However, they had nothing to show for it, as RMU could not find a way to beat Falcons goaltender Alex Schilling, and Air Force would eventually prevail for the win.

Penalties were a big part of tonight’s game, as there turned out to be a combined 14 penalties between the two teams. However, neither team was able to capitalize on their power-play chances. This proved to be detrimental to RMU even more so than Air Force. In the second period, the Colonials had a 5-on-3 but were not able to get any pucks past Schilling, and late in the third period, the Colonials were given a chance to at least cut the lead in half, as they had a 6-on-3 but still could not beat Schilling. RMU finished with a total of eight power plays but was unable to tally a power-play goal.

Despite neither team winning the special teams battle, the Falcons proved to be the better team even strength. “They had chances, we had chances on the power play. Neither power play was very good, and they outscored 5-on-5, so was the power play a cost of us, no. The cost of us was our mental focus and determination. They won more battles than we did,” coach Schooley said after the game.

Coach Schooley also offered his thoughts on the defensive game of the Colonials by saying:

“Our defensemen gave them the puck numerous times and gave them more chances than we’d shake the stick at. We didn’t get anything going out of that because we kept turning pucks over, and when you turn the pucks over, you don’t have the puck very much, so it’s tough to get offensive looks when they have the puck because we gave it to them.”

While things did not go right for the Colonials Friday night, RMU will have to put the loss behind them and get ready to play against Air Force again Saturday night. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. at Colonials Arena. RMU will be looking to rebound from a tough game Friday night and get themselves back on the right track.