The RMU NCAA men’s hockey team gained their first win of the season against a familiar Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) foe, Mercyhurst in the consolation game of the Mutual of Omaha Stampede tournament. The 2-1 victory was led by goals from junior forwards Zach Hervato and Adam Brace, and a 29-save performance by junior goalie Eric Levine.
In his first game of the season, Levine held Mercyhurst scoreless for over 53 minutes before Mercyhurst forward, Trent Frey, tallied the Lakers lone goal.
Hervato opened the scoring at 9:55 of the first with the assists on the goal going to senior forward and captain, Trevor Lewis, and sophomore Colin South.
“Colin South did a great job all game of battling along the boards and so did Lewy (Trevor Lewis),” recalled Hervato. “We won the battle [with] Lewy chipping me the puck, and I saw an opening and took the shot.”
Considering the fact that Mercyhurst knocked the Colonials out of the 2010-2011 AHA playoffs, Hervato’s goal for the Colonials was huge. “It felt good to get that first goal under us,” admitted Hervato.
Just 59 seconds into the second period, junior forward, Adam Brace, scored the eventual game winner for the Colonials. The second Colonials goal was set up by senior forward, Ron Cramer, and junior defenseman, Brendan Jamison.
Mercyhurst ended up outshooting the Colonials 25-30, but the Colonials made more out of their scoring opportunities.
According to Hervato, the Colonials win against Mercyhurst had a bit of a revenge feel to it.
“It felt very good due to, the fact that they knocked us out of the playoffs last year, there was definitely a revenge factor,” explained Hervato. “It’s only the first meeting between us; I don’t think it will feel right until we beat them the rest of the season.”
South also agreed that the game against Mercyhurst was a big one for the Colonials, but it was not all of the redemption they want. “Although it didn’t count as a conference game, I think it was a game that everyone was excited to play,” said South. “The guys who were here last year still remember how it felt to lose to Mercyhurst in the playoffs and although it didn’t gives us all the redemption we want it was still nice to get the win.”
Lewis was named to the All-Tournament Team and the Atlantic Hockey Honor Roll with a goal and an assist, and Levine joined Lewis on the Atlantic Hockey Honor Roll for his performance against Mercyhurst.
“It was a great honor to be named to the All-Tournament Team,” said Lewis. “There were a lot of great hockey players at the tournament, so to be recognized amongst them was a good feeling.”
The Colonials finished the tournament 1-1 after a loss to Colgate on Friday (3-1) and a win against Mercyhurst (2-1).
“It was a solid team effort and it was very important for us to get a win to get some confidence heading into a big weekend against Air Force,” explained Lewis.
Next up for the Colonials will be a road game at Air Force on Sunday October 16 at 8:05EST.