PITTSBURGH — Before the Robert Morris women’s hockey team (13-13-6, 11-4-3 CHA) takes part in the CHA playoffs, they must first take on the Syracuse Orange (10-19-3, 10-6-2 CHA) in their final regular season games.
Earlier this year up in the Salt City, the Colonials and Orange split the series, with the Orange winning game one 3-2 in overtime, and Robert Morris winning game two by a score of 5-1.
Last week, the Colonials split the series against the second place Mercyhurst Lakers. In the first game, a 5-2 loss, Maggie Lague and Emily Curlett scored for the Colonials. However, on Saturday, Lexi Templeman scored and Emilie Harley had a hat-trick in a 4-1 Robert Morris win over the Lakers.
On the season, Robert Morris sits first in College Hockey America with 25 conference points. Mercyhurst is currently three points behind the Colonials. With a tie this weekend against Syracuse, the team can gain a first-round bye for the tournament in Buffalo, New York. With a win, the Colonials can win the CHA regular season for the third year in a row.
Coming into the final series of the year, Syracuse has been on a roll; over their last six games, the Orange have lost only once, going 4-1-1. In last weekend’s series against Lindenwood, the Orange swept the Lions. Syracuse currently is third in the CHA with 22 points.
This year, the Orange’s weakness is defense. The team is allowing 3.16 goals per game, 0.43 more than the second highest, Lindenwood. Syracuse also has a weakness in the dot, with a 47.5% faceoff percentage, tied for last with the Tigers of RIT.
Players to Watch
Jaycee Gebhard (RMU): As always this year, it seems, Gebhard is one of the leading players on the Colonials this year. She has 47 points (18g, 29a) in 32 games this year. Gebhard’s points-per-game average of 1.47 is seventh in the NCAA.
Emilie Hurley (RMU): So far this year, Hurley only has 10 points, (5g, 5a), however, four of those points came in Saturday’s game against Mercyhurst. The sophomore from Syracuse, New York is hoping to prove last week’s hat-trick wasn’t a fluke against her hometown team this weekend.
Allie Munroe (SU): Not only the leading scorer on the Orange with 24 points (4g, 20a), Munroe also is willing to give her body for the team, with 65 blocks, leading her team and sitting eighth in the CHA. The senior from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia is the leading defensive scorer in the conference as well, operating at 0.75 points per game.
Avery Brooke (SU): If there’s one thing Brooke knows how to do well, it’s fill the net. Brooke has nine goals to go along with 11 assists on the year, and she currently has the highest shooting percentage on the Orange, shooting 16.4%.
The Colonials will get the point they need to not only secure a first-round bye in Buffalo, but they will also sweep the Orange to win the CHA and head into the conference playoffs with momentum on their side.