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February 23, 2013

RMU sweeps Canisius, eyes playoff bye

Adam Brace and Cody Wydo each had a pair of goals, and Robert Morris completed a clean sweep of Canisius by defeating the Golden Griffins 6-3 at the 84 Lumber Arena on Saturday night. The win was the team's 18th victory on the season, tying a program record.

In addition, the two points now place the Colonials in a tie for fourth place in the Atlantic Hockey standings heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

RMU was more than pleased to pot six goals in the win, allowing them to claim all four points on the weekend.

"(It feels) phenomenal," senior defenseman Tyler Hinds said. "The team really pulled together this weekend. We stuck to our gameplan and we got the job done."

Colin South and Matt Cope also tallied for RMU, chasing Canisius goaltender Tony Capobianco after two periods. Eleven Colonials recorded at least one point in the victory.

Head coach Derek Schooley appreciated the effort, especially from his top six forwards on the evening.

"I challenged them this morning," Schooley said. "I said they had to be the heartbeat of the team. Our top six have to lead us and they set the tone."

Senior netminder Eric Levine turned aside 40 pucks, picking up his 17th victory of the season. He's been in sole possession of the record for wins in one season by an RMU goaltender for the past 48 hours.

Robert Morris is now tied for fourth place in the AHA with Holy Cross with 27 points apiece, but the Crusaders have a game in hand. RMU can receive a first round bye if they finish in the top four in the conference, but they'll likely need to sweep Mercyhurst next weekend to be guaranteed of that fate.

"It's a logjam," Hinds said of the standings. "There's not a whole lot we can control other than our games. We're focusing on getting points and every weekend multiple points. That's really all we can control right now."

"We look at (the standings), but we have to worry about what we're doing," Schooley said. "If you don't win then it makes no difference. I didn't even look at scores last night. Guys had to tell me on the bus. At times you look at them afterwards, but you just have to do what you have to do and worry about yourself."

Schooley admits, however, that he's confident in his group right now. Once the playoffs get underway, anything can happen.

"I've said all along, I love this hockey team," Schooley said. "It's the best team we've had chemistry-wise. We tied the program record with wins tonight with 18, and we've still got two games left. I'm pretty confident. We have a team that's got the ability to do very good things. We've got all the pieces, it's just a matter if they all show up and they all perform."

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