Men’s hockey swims past Lakers


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

Luke Yost, Contributor

PITTSBURGH– The Robert Morris Colonials (7-5-2, 7-2-2 AHA) stole two points away from the Mercyhurst University Lakers (4-8-1, 2-4-1 AHA) thanks to the Atlantic Hockey Association’s new overtime rules. Michael Coyne hammered home a puck in the crease, late into the second overtime to give the Colonials the extra point.

Robert Morris brought a physical style back from their trip to Erie last night. The physical play caused problems for the visiting Lakers. Mercyhurst failed to create any significant offensive opportunity. RMU did a great job controlling the area in front of Justin Kapelmaster.

Kapelmaster nearly conceited the first goal to the Lakers on Mercyhurst’s first scoring chance. The Lakers created traffic in front of the net and were swatting towards the goal. RMU’s Nolan Schaeffer helped dig the puck out and clear it. In all that mess, the referee signaled that there was a goal. Following a lengthy review, the call was overturned.

The first period ended without a goal celebration for either side, as the teams were locked in a scoreless tie.

Robert Morris had two Colonials sitting in the penalty box early in the second period. Down two men, Kapelmaster made another series of incredible save like he’s done all year.

Following the penalty kill, the Colonials would lose Grant Hebert. Hebert was skating into the offensive zone when Mercyhurst’s Brendan Riley hit him in the head. The sophomore forward then slammed his head on the ice. Hebert laid on the ice for at least 10 minutes while both teams’ athletic trainers and paramedics provided treatment. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher.

Head coach Derek Schooley provided an update after the game. “It’s an unfortunate situation,” said Schooley. “We’ve had some good news so far. He has got some feeling and movement which is good. It’s a scary thing to happen in the game of hockey.” Riley was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Following the scary situation just moments earlier, Mercyhurst took the lead. Khristian Acosta scored a short-handed goal to give the Lakers some momentum. This was Acosta’s second goal of the season.

RMU would answer less than two minutes later. On the powerplay, Luke Lynch had the puck in the high slot area, he shot the puck, got the rebound and slid the biscuit to Aidan Spellacy. Spellacy would hammer it home and tie things up, 1-1. That is how the score remained, as each side went to the locker room looking to make adjustments for the final period.

The two teams were at a stalemate during the third period, until Nolan Schaeffer broke the tie. Schaeffer took a heavy slapshot and snaked through the traffic in front of the net. The sophomore’s first collegiate goal couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s a year and a half overdue,” said Schaeffer. “Nothing better than the first one, that’s for sure.”

The Lakers would tie the game up at two after Acosta netted his second goal of the game. Acosta took the puck in his own defensive zone and was able to jump out to a breakaway. His wrist shot beat Kapelmaster on the glove side.

“We got a bad rebound,” explained Schooley “It was a result because Grant’s spot was filled by someone else.” The late goal, sent the game into overtime tied at two.

The first overtime came and went and thanks to new AHA rules, there was a second overtime period. The second overtime features 3-on-3 action.

Michael Coyne picked up the puck with less than 15 seconds to go. Coyne started to motor into the offensive zone, and Justin Addamo hopped on the ice to help him. Coyne dropped a pass to Addamo and went to the front of the net, then buried a goal off of the assist from Addamo.

Robert Morris will be back in action next week when they go to Sacred Heart (8-6-1, 7-4 AHA), for two games. The first game is Saturday, Dec. 7. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.