Pioneers Downed by Robert Morris, 3-1 in Series Finale

Pioneers Downed by Robert Morris, 3-1 in Series Finale

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.— The Sacred Heart University men's ice hockey team was unable to overcome a three-goal deficit, falling to Robert Morris 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.

The Pioneers (7-16-4, 5-12-4 AHA) outshot the Colonials (13-13-2, 12-8-2 AHA) in the final two periods but were unable to fend off the weekend sweep by the visitors at Webster Bank Arena.

Sophomore Vito Bavaro netted his 14th goal of the season with the lone SHU tally. Freshmen linemates Marc Johnstone and Jordan Kaplan had the assists on the goal. Junior goaltender Brett Magnus registered 23 saves against the tough RMU offense.

Turning Point…

The Colonials got on the board late in the opening period with a strong possession in transition as Michael Coyne finished off the two-on-one goal at 16:43.
RMU snapped the SHU penalty kill's 18-for-18 streak in the second period with the power play goal at 6:34 off the one-timer by Timmy Moore. The Pioneers kicked up the offensive tempo, outshooting the Colonials 9-6 in the second.

It was another early goal by RMU as Eric Israel chipped in the rebound at 5:47 to push the lead to a comfortable 3-0 advantage. The Pioneers finally snuck one past Francis Marotte at 15:07 as Bavaro found the back of the net. SHU went on the extra attacker with just under 2:30 left in regulation but was unable to light the lamp again. 

How They Scored…

16:43 – 1st Period: RMU 1, SHU 0: The Colonials broke open the scoring late in the first as Michael Powers worked the puck behind his net to set up the attack. The defenseman tapered a bullet of pass through the neutral zone to Michael Louria. He found his linemate Coyne crashing to the net on the two-on-one rush for the score. 

6:34 – 2nd Period: RMU 2, SHU 0: RMU worked the puck on the man advantage in the beginning of the second as Alex Tonge controlled the puck at the right point. He dished the puck out to Brady Ferguson at the goal line to open the SHU zone. Powers set up a shot at the left circle and buried the one-timer.

5:47 – 3rd Period: RMU 3, SHU 0: The Colonials went on the rush with Luke Lynch driving through the Pioneers zone. He backhanded the pass to Matt Graham who chipped one on goal that was saved by Magnus. Israel was there for the rebound to put the Colonials up three. 

15:07 – 3rd Period: RMU 3, SHU 1: The Pioneers were able to put together a good possession off the RMU icing call. Johnstone collected the puck along the half wall back to Kaplan, who then fed the puck to Bavaro at the left circle. The sophomore got the puck and fired the wrist shot off the right post to get SHU on the board.

Key Stats & Notes…

  • Bavaro has now doubled his goal total from a season ago with his 14th mark of the season.
  • Johnstone leads the team with 14 assists, snapping a five-game pointless streak.
  • The Pioneers season-high 18-for-18 four-game stretch on the penalty kill came to an end on the Colonials second period power play score.

Up Next… 

The Pioneers travel to Niagara for its second to last road trip of the regular season next weekend. The series opens Friday, February 9 with a 7:05 p.m. puck drop from Dwyer Arena.