After finishing the regular season in second place with a 6-3-3 record, the Robert Morris University women’s ice hockey team is prepared for the College Hockey America (CHA) tournament that they are hosting this weekend.
The Colonials will be facing a familiar opponent in the Niagara Purple Eagles on Friday at 3:45 p.m., and the meeting will be the fifth of the season between the two teams.
“I expect it to be a very close game,” said freshman forward Katelyn Scott. “Niagara’s a really defensive team, but if we stick to our game and play to our full potential we’ll be able to come out on top.”
While the Colonials don’t plan on doing anything different than they have thus far, head coach Paul Colontino hopes they can continue to play their game and play it right.
“It’s the same thing all year where we just try to focus on what we can do well and just continue to do it right,” said Colontino. “Niagara’s obviously a good team, we’ve seen them 4 times already, so it’s just important that we’re playing the best hockey we’re capable of playing.”
Colontino’s team is 2-1-1 against the Purple Eagles this season. The two split the series the first weekend with the Colonials losing 1-0 on the road and winning 1-0 at home. During the second series the Colonials were able to top the Purple Eagles 6-1 at home and tie 2-2 on the road.
With both Colonials wins coming at home, the home ice advantage should help the team this time around.
“I think it’s a good thing to be hosting because you’re in your own rink and that kind of stuff,” Colontino said. “With anything it always has its pros and always has its cons but maintaining our daily routine will be a good benefit for us.”
If the Colonials are able to top Niagara, they will move on to their first CHA championship game in program history on Saturday against the winner of the Mercyhurst/Syracuse game that takes place at noon on Friday.
Senior captain, Paige Pietrangelo, has been a part of three CHA playoffs and knows that playoffs are on a bigger stage so the team will have to be prepared.
“We’re going to have to give it our all,” she said. “It’s a lot bigger than league play so we have to block shots, stick together on the bench, and just stay positive.”
The team is having their best season in program history thus far and would appreciate support this weekend as they contend for their first CHA title.
“It’s important to have fans because they can help you get going and cheer you on,” said Scott. “It would be really great if fans could make it out.”