Preview: RMU men’s hockey team looks to sink Lakers

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Preview: RMU men’s hockey team looks to sink Lakers

Photo credit: David Auth

Photo credit: David Auth

Photo credit: David Auth

Photo credit: David Auth

Jonathan Hanna, Contributor

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ERIE, Pa. — On a week’s rest after being swept in their last series by the no. 6 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2, 1-1 Big Ten), the Robert Morris Colonials men’s hockey team (3-6-1, 2-3-1 AHC) are set to play a home-and-home with the Mercyhurst Lakers (5-5-2, 3-2-1 AHC). The Lakers earned one vote for the NCAA D-1 Men’s Ice Hockey Rankings by United States College Hockey Online.

The first game is Friday, Nov. 23 at Colonials Arena, while for the second game on Saturday, the Colonials will travel to Erie, Pennsylvania to take on Mercyhurst. Puck drop for both games are at 7:05 p.m.

Recapping RMU

The Colonials last series was against the Nittany Lions of Penn State. In the first game, in University Park, the Colonials lost 7-2. Alex Tonge scored, and Grant Hebert got his first collegiate goal for the Colonials. In the second game, the Colonials hosted Penn State, losing 11-6. Luke Lynch, Aidan Spellacy, Nick Prkusic all scored for Robert Morris, and Tonge netted a hat trick in the loss.

Scouting Mercyhurst

In the last two games for Mercyhurst, they swept the Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-6-1, 2-4 AHC). Mercyhurst won the first game 4-3 in overtime, as Joseph Duszak, Derek Barach, Steven Ipri and James Anderson found the back of the net. In Sunday’s game, James Anderson scored twice, and Tommaso Bucci scored as the Lakers shutout Sacred Heart 3-0.

Players to watch

Alex Tonge (RMU): As always for the Colonials, Tonge will be one to watch, as the Kingston, Ontario native has scored 11 points in 10 games this season, including a hat trick against Penn State.

Grant Hebert (RMU): Hebert, a freshman, gained some momentum in the series against the Nittany Lions, as he not only scored his first career goal, but he also added two assists in the second game.

Joseph Duszak (Mercyhurst): For the Lakers, Duszak, a defenseman, has 14 points in 12 games, (three goals and 11 assists), while adding a -1 plus/minus rating.

Garrett Metcalf (Mercyhurst): In three games this year, Anaheim Ducks prospect Metcalf has been solid in net for Mercyhurst; as the 2015 draft pick has 2.25 goals against average, and a .917 save percentage.

Prediction

In these two games, the Colonials will have to get at least two points in order to stay competitive in the Atlantic Hockey Conference. The Colonials will win the Friday game, as they often do, by a score of 3-1. Those goals will come off the sticks of Nick Prkusic, Grant Hebert and Eric Israel for the Colonials. To close out the series, Robert Morris shows that they belong, winning 5-1 on Saturday. Tonge and Lynch both score twice, and Kip Hoffmann scores his first collegiate goal.

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