RMU rolls past Army for second consecutive sweep

The second game of the Robert Morris vs.  Army series was a roller coaster of scoring.

Much like the night before, there was pushing and shoving right and left, but despite the aggression, the Colonials managed to come out on top, 6-4, Saturday night at the Island Sports Center.

“It was a man’s game, borderline dirty at times, both ways,” said head coach Derek Schooley. “Sticks were swinging. There were slashes going on. Probably could have called a penalty every ten seconds if that went on.”

“That’s hockey. It was physical. It was dirty. And at the end of the day, we got the job done.

RMU got on the board early when Colin South scored an unassisted goal at 2:15 from the top of the slot.

The Colonials had their first chance on the power play at 12:39. Jeff Jones capitalized on man advantage and struck at the 12:52 mark from the left side, with Scott Jacklin and David Friedmann on the helpers.

Jones continued his offensive efforts when he slid the puck clear past Army netminder Tanner Creel for his sixth goal of the season and third point of the game. Tyson Wilson and John Rey both had assists.

It was after this goal that the Black Knights exchanged Creel for Parker Gahagen.

Scoring slowed down for the Colonials in the second period. After an RMU penalty, Army managed to score their first goal when Joe Kozlak struck from the front of the crease at 4:22.

Later at 11:11, Brian Schultz came flying down the ice on a breakaway and with a shot from the slot, scored Army’s second goal of the evening.

Zac Lynch quickly retaliated at 12:02 with a snap of his stick at the bottom of the faceoff circle after receiving the puck from Scott Jacklin.

John Rey also had an assist on the play.

“[Our line] had a really good first period. Second period, Army started playing a lot better defensively and that kind of shut our line down, so it was tougher after the first,” said Jones of the middle period.

The Black Knights dominated at the start of the third period. Clint Carlisle scored at 12:06, followed by Josh Richards, who managed to push the puck past RMU goalie Terry Shafer to knot up the score at four with fewer than four minutes left in the final period.

The outcome was beginning to look grim for the Colonials as the clock ticked away.

Brandon Denham pulled the unexpected when he netted the penultimate goal at 17:59. A minute late, the puck would find the back of an empty Army net, thanks to Cody Wydo, to push the final score to 6-4.

“That was a huge goal,” said Jacklin of Denham’s game-changer. “Everyone was going crazy for that. Two minutes left, a tie game, that’s a big goal. We pretty much won the game there.”

Even though the final minutes of play were exciting and favorable for RMU, the outcome very easily could have been unfortunate

“I think we just had a mental lapse in the third,” noted Jones. “We got away from our game plan for a little bit and Army came at us hard all night and they capitalized for a couple of quick goals…I think that was the main difference from last night.”

According to Schooley, a win is a win

“The most important thing right now is this time of year they don’t ask how, they ask how many. We came out two points.
“We know we need to be a little better but at the end of the day we got what we wanted and four points this weekend.”

Next weekend the Colonials travel to New York to face the RIT Tigers in their first road series since January 10.