Colonial talk: Physical, gritty play leads to the tie


Photo credit: Delenn Poe

Lea Chocolas

The Robert Morris University Colonials ended their game with a 5-5 tie against the Holy Cross Crusaders Friday night.

The last time the Colonials played the Crusaders was March 11, 2017, when the Colonials won 3-2 in the AHC Quarterfinals. Goals were scored by Dan Leavens, who scored twice and Brady Ferguson of the Colonials.

The Colonials are 10-5-1 overall, 4-2 at home and 6-3-1 on the road from the years of 2010-2017 against the Crusaders.

Goaltenders in net were Francis Marotte for Robert Morris and Paul Berrafato for Holy Cross. Both Marotte and Berrafato allowed five goals throughout the game. Marotte made 27 saves and Berrafato made 34.

Marotte faced 6 in the first period, 11 in the second, 9 in the third and 1 during overtime. Berrafato faced 14 in the first, 11 in the second, 4 in the third and 5 in overtime. With those numbers, RMU pressured Berrafato in the first and had chances. The two goalies were tied with saves in the second. Both teams weren’t shooting much in the third and RMU was all over Holy Cross in overtime.

During the first period, Brady Ferguson netted his fourth goal of the season on a power play. Brady was ranked 45th on the USCHO list of power-play goals and 17th on shorthanded goals going into this game.

He makes plays and hit holes but he’s not a nasty, physical player. He has tendencies where he can get there but he’s mostly a delicate and graceful player.

The magic started in the second period when both teams were pressuring each other, getting physical and trying to find ways to put the puck in the net. TJ Moore from Holy Cross stole the lead by going top shelf on Marotte to make the score 2-1.

When the Crusaders were on the power play, leading goal scorer, Scott Pooley snuck one behind Marotte at 10:23 left in the second to make it 3-1. Colonial left winger Matthew Graham scored his second of the season and made it 3-2. Right after Graham’s goal, Holy Cross defenseman Frank Boie poked the puck between the net and Marotte’s leg to make the score 4-2.

Luke Lynch of the Colonials netted his 6th of the season to play catch up with the Crusaders 4-3. When you are physical, strong and gritty, that’s when the goals are scored and that’s exactly what Lynch did and that’s why he’s been so successful and ranked 14th on the USCHO list of goals. With 16.5 seconds left in the second period, Alex Tonge bets Berrafato and scored his third of the season to tie the game at 4.

The opening of the third was a great and memorable one for sophomore Alex Robert who netted his first collegiate goal and first of the season to steal the lead from Holy Cross to make it 5-4. With three minutes left in the third period, Laffin of the Crusaders scored his second goal of the night to tie the game at 5 which would go into overtime.

At the end of regulation, heading into overtime, both teams were getting physical and throwing bodies around. Both teams were trying to get goals past each goaltender, but bodies of players were getting in the way and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.

“This is a step in the right direction,” Coach Schooley said. “I liked our effort, I liked our energy, I liked our compete level. It’s a step in the right direction offensively, yes, but defensively, you can’t give up five in a game and expect to win. You score five and you should win a hockey game.”