The Robert Morris University Colonials women’s ice hockey team beat the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers 5-2 to sweep their two-game series on Sat., Nov. 11 at the RMU Island Sports Center.
With a 6-1 win against the Tigers already in the season record books, the fans expected a blowout. However, the Colonials predicted the Tigers to return stronger in their second match up.
“One game at a time,” said head coach Paul Colontino after the first win. “You’re as good as your last shift … This team, RIT, has done a phenomenal job this year of bouncing back.”
Expecting a fight, the Colonials came out strong.
Freshman Anjelica Diffendal scored her first goal in a Colonial uniform to swing momentum in favor of the ladies in white. The crowd erupted as the Pittsburgh native buried the puck deep in the net.
Redshirt senior Brittany Howard followed shortly afterwards with a hard slap shot from the faceoff circle. Tiger netminder Terra Lanteigne lost the puck in the traffic around her, putting the Colonials up 2-0.
The second period yielded a different story, however.
As time started to tick away in period two, the Tigers became physically more aggressive. Shoving the Colonials off the puck, RIT muscled their way into the offensive zone.
Tiger forward Claudia Black found her way past RMU netminder Elijah Milne-Price twice. The crowd at the Island Sports Center hushed, worried their Colonials had finally met their match. However, team leader Howard was not going to let her team get beat down.
Picking up the puck near the blue line, Howard charged down the right wing, a defender hot on her heels. She cut towards the net, straight for Lanteigne. Passing through the crease, she slid the puck to her forehand and buried it hard into the back of the net.
The energy in the building surged through the roof. Howard’s teammates surrounded her, showering her with praise. They would not be defeated. Not at home.
“Regardless of what’s going on on the ice, we need to do the little things right,” said Colontino. “When we do that, we don’t give teams very many opportunities.”
With the score close, the third period would be the deciding factor. Parents and fans held their breath as the players stared each other down from across the ice.
The Colonials bore down and showed their Colonial hockey. Quick tempo, puck control, clean passes, and plenty of shots on net define this squad and what they’re capable of. As the clock started to tick away the third period, the Colonials showed the Tigers just who they were messing with.
Forwards Sarah LeCavalier and Amber Rennie each found the back of the net, securing a strong lead for RMU. The game would end with a final score of 5-2 in favor of the Colonials.
With this win, the Colonials did not only get two wins at home, but two conference wins. The Colonials were awarded four critical conference points, something Coach Colontino is very happy with.
“Every point toward the end of the season becomes so valuable,” said Colontino. “Sometimes the early conference ones (wins) are the biggest rewards. The race is always tight near the end.”
The Colonials’ next match is at home on Friday, Nov. 24, at 7:05 p.m. against the Ohio State Buckeyes. While there is a week of rest before that game, the team is not concerned. Rather, the opposite.
“No, no it’s exciting,” laughed Colontino when asked if he was nervous about the upcoming match. “We’re going to have two really good teams coming in for Thanksgiving.”