RMU wins 5-1 on Mental Health Night


Photo Credit: Thomas Ognibene

Owen Krepps, Contributor

PITTSBURGH– Robert Morris women’s hockey (13-8-2, 7-2-0 CHA) was second in the CHA for about three hours on Friday. That is until they defeated the Syracuse Orange (6-15-1, 5-3-1 CHA) by a score of 5-1 on Friday night. They reclaimed their title over Mercyhurst (12-8-3, 6-2-1 CHA) who tied a game against Penn State (7-4-1, 4-3-2 CHA) just hours earlier. The transfer players truly stood out in this one, as Michaela Boyle notched two goals and an assist, while Kyleigh Hanzlik scored her fourth goal as a Colonial.

“You give our team, our seniors, and our upperclassmen, pretty much all of the credit. We have such a good culture and when we do get players from different teams they are instantly integrated,” stated head coach Paul Colontino on the addition of Hanzlik and Boyle.

This game was not only an important CHA matchup for RMU but was the second annual Mental Health Awareness Night for RMU. Sponsored by Never Give Up Radio, RMU women’s hockey’s goal is to spread the word on mental health and #endthestigma. Robert Morris has been raising money for mental health all week, including a panel Thursday night which featured Stanley Cup Champion Tyler Kennedy.

“For me, as an athlete, I think mental health is huge and just as important as physical health and our team is really big into that and this school too,” stated goaltender Raygan Kirk on the “Stack the Pads” podcast.

Kirk made yet another start for the Colonials, continuing her strong first year. She stopped 19 of 20 in this contest and stood strong. Robert Morris was in control of the game from the get-go, winning puck battles and excelling on the forecheck.

Robert Morris’ lethal powerplay got a chance to take an early lead on the Orange, and that’s exactly what they did. Lexi Templeman got a nice feed in front of the net from Michaela Boyle and RMU was up early.

“When we get those opportunities we know our teammates are counting on us to get the job done and that added pressure is what makes us so successful,” Michaela Boyle commented about the NCAA’s 4th best power-play.

In the second, things started to open up some more and Robert Morris’s chances started to find the back of the net. Jaycee Gebhard found her new linemate, Kyleigh Hanzlik, on the doorstep of the Syracuse crease and she potted home her fourth goal. But less than a minute later Syracuse got the goal back as Abby Moloughney scored for a 2-1 score.

Robert Morris got sick of scoring powerplay goals and decided to just score on the delayed penalty later on in the second. Michaela Boyle added her 14th of the year and RMU went into the locker room up 3-1.

Boyle was not done as just under two minutes into the third period, she scored yet again for her 15th of the season with a nice feed from Lexi Templeman. RMU would add another powerplay goal before the game concluded with Jaycee Gebhard scoring another for safekeeping.

This win really shows how dynamic of a team RMU can be and how deep they truly are. The line of Templeman, Gebhard and Boyle was shaken up a couple of games ago. This has given the team more depth to work with. Now, it seems like every line can score and be a threat, and we haven’t even mentioned the offensive defenseman this team has.

“It’s great because you’ve got 3-4 lines that all have to opportunity to score because we’ve got talented players right through the lineup. When everybody is going, it’s a great thing as a coach because we could literally get offense from everyone our lines and any seven of our D back there,” Boyle commented.

She continued by adding, “Splitting us all up brings more consistency and more offensive balance through the lineup and that’s huge for our success.”

RMU is back in action tomorrow for game two of this series against Syracuse for a 3:00 p.m. puck drop. The next three games for the Colonials will be home, and Jaycee Gebhard is now only four points away from becoming the team’s all-time leader in points. Hopefully, she will be able to pass Brittany Howard’s record of 181 points at home.