BRIDGEPORT, Conn.— The Sacred Heart University men's ice hockey team was unable to combat the Robert Morris forecheck, falling 4-1 on Friday afternoon. The Pioneers (7-15-4, 5-11-4 AHA) couldn't withstand the three-goal second period by the Colonials (12-13-2, 11-8-2 AHA) on Kids Day at Webster Bank Arena.
SHU saw its two-game win streak come to an end in the loss. Redshirt sophomore Jason Cotton registered the lone goal for the Pioneers in the middle frame. Freshman Matt Tugnutt and junior co-captain Mike Crocock had the assists on the goal. Junior Brett Magnus recorded 29 saves against the ferocious Colonials attack.
Both teams were slow to start in the opening 10 minutes with the early morning start time. But RMU was quick to turn on its attack, opening the scoring with a goal by Matthew Graham at 13:02
The Colonials doubled the score at 4:13 in the second period off the slapshot by Eric Israel. SHU responded on the next faceoff as Cotton sniped the wrist shot past Francis Marotte, cutting the deficit to one. RMU continued to push the offensive pressure on the SHU defense as Brandon Watt fired home the backhanded goal at 16:27.
Alex Tonge sealed the game for the Colonials just 14 seconds later with the team's fourth goal of the game. SHU outshot RMU 12-6 in the third but were unable to sneak one by Marotte.
How They Scored…
13:02 – 1st Period: RMU 1, SHU 0: The Colonials attack finally settled in just over the halfway mark with a flurry of chances in front of the net. The Pioneers intercepted a pass and tried to backhand a clear attempt out but Graham was there to pick up the puck. The left winder fired the wrist shot off the left post to open the scoring.
4:13 – 2nd Period: RMU 2, SHU 0: With the play along the halfwall, Michael Coyne sent the puck to Alex Dangal on the left side. He shipped the puck across the zone off the stick of Magnus. Israel was there to put home the goal.
4:35 – 2nd Period: RMU 2, SHU 1: The Pioneers worked the puck around in the Colonials end off the faceoff win. Crocock dished the puck to Tugnutt behind the net, the rookie then fed the puck ahead to his linemate Cotton. The center whistled through the RMU defense and sniped the puck past the unsuspecting Marotte at the left circle.
16:27 – 2nd Period: RMU 3, SHU 1: RMU continued to push the puck through the SHU defense. Spencer Dorowicz fired in the wrist shot from the right point but it was blocked by Robert Powers at the doorstep. The puck trickled to Watt cutting to the net as he chipped the backhanded shot past the outstretched Magnus.
16:41 – 2nd Period: RMU 4, SHU 1: The Colonials capped the strong second period as Tonge went for the wraparound goal after the RMU face-off win. He worked the puck behind the net and banked the shot off of Magnus' left pad for the fourth goal of the game.
Key Stats & Notes…
- The SHU penalty kill was a perfect 4-for-4 on the afternoon and is a perfect 16-for-16 in the last four games.
- Cotton picked up his 11th goal of the season, the sophomore has scored in three of the last four games.
- Tugnutt moved into a tie for the team lead with his 13th assist of the year. He now is third on the team with 18 points through 23 games played.
The Pioneers conclude season series against Robert Morris tomorrow afternoon with a 2:05 p.m. puck drop at Webster Bank Arena.