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February 4, 2012

Colonials snag win No. 100, top Canisius

The Robert Morris men's hockey team picked up the 100th victory in program history and Derek Schooley's 100th win as a head coach in a 6-4 triumph over Canisius in front of the hometown crowd at Clearview Arena on Friday night.

"I'm proud of the players involved in getting 100 wins. The players and the alumni over the program's eight years have been instrumental in reaching this milestone," Schooley said after the victory.

Robert Morris (13-11-3, 11-6-3 Atlantic Hockey) established an early lead in the first period as senior Nick Chiavetta (Harrisburg, Pa. / New York Applecore) scored as he pounced on a rebound opportunity in-front of Canisius goaltender Dan Morrison. The original opportunity was created as sophomore Colin South (Sewickley, Pa. / Bay State Breakers) tipped a shot from fellow sophomore Evan Renwick (Calgary, Alberta / Canmore Eagles) - both of whom were credited with assists on the goal.

Less than two minutes into the second period, RMU would double their lead while killing off a tripping penalty. Senior Tom Brooks (St. Louis, Mo. / St. Louis Bandits) picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and came down on his off-wing to snipe a wrist shot over the shoulder of the Golden Griffins (8-15-4, 8-9-3 AHA) netminder. That lead would grow again when junior Zach Hervato (Stittsville, Ontario / Smith Falls Bears) drove the net to score his first goal since the opening weekend of the season. Hervato's goal came after the Canisius goaltender made a pad save on senior Trevor Lewis (Lititz, Pa. / Syracuse Stars) coming in on a breakaway. Fellow senior Josh Jones (Scenery Hill, Pa. / Hawkesbury Hawks) picked up the secondary assist with the pass the sprung Lewis in on net. After a goaltender change, Canisius would score shortly before the end of the period as Kyle Gibbons would net his first of two goals in the game.

Freshman Jeff Jones (Revelstoke, British Columbia / Merritt Centennials) would score less than a minute into the third period as he was set up by seniors Brandon Blandina (Centennial, Colo. / Indiana Ice) and Ron Cramer (New Wilmington, Pa. / Indiana Ice) for the Colonials' fourth goal of the game. The Colonials continued their pressure and tallied a fifth goal as junior Adam Brace (Cobden, Ontario / Canisius) scored in his second game back from injury with South picking up his second point of the evening. Also assisting on Brace's game-winning goal was senior Cody Crichton (Palgrave, Ontario / Brampton Capitals) who now leads the team with 22 points in the season. Down but not out, the Golden Griffins would respond with the next three goals over a span of 6:30 to bring it to a one-goal game. During that stretch, the Colonials were able to kill off a two-man advantage for Canisius - en route to killing off all six Golden Griffin power-play opportunities. Senior goaltender Brooks Ostergard (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Bay State Breakers) came up big while killing off the man advantages - making many of his thirty saves while the team was on the penalty kill. Chiavetta netted his second of the night and sealed the 100th team victory with less than a minute left in regulation as he chased down a dump-in by Lewis and scored spinning backhanded shot into the empty net of Canisius.

The Colonials will travel tomorrow afternoon to Buffalo, N.Y. to conclude the home-and-home series with Canisius. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Colonial Notes: The top line for Canisius accounted for all four of their goals in the game and amassed seven points on the night…The penalty kill for the Colonials remained tops in the nation - killing 111 of their 119 penalties this season (93.3%)…Cramer picked up the 101st penalty of his career to set a new school record - he now sits sixteen minutes behind the school record for penalty minutes…This year's senior class has a chance to eclipse last year's class for the RMU all-time class record as they are within two victories of tying them at 53 wins after tonight's game.

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