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November 9, 2013

Hockey falls to RIT after first win

Less than 24 hours after recording their first win on the season, the Robert Morris Colonials found themselves on the wrong side of the score to RIT, falling by a 4-2 final to the Tigers on Saturday at the 84 Lumber Arena.

The loss moves RMU to 1-1-1 in Atlantic Hockey, and 1-6-1 overall. The Colonials had trouble from the opening faceoff, struggling to match RIT's intensity throughout much of the evening.

"We didn't have it from the get go," said head coach Derek Schooley. "I don't know if we weren't ready to play or what the situation was, but we didn't have any energy. The mistakes that we gave up were all mental mistakes."

"It was a pretty poor effort on everyone's part," said senior captain Colin South. "The most disappointing part is that (RIT) wanted it more and that really showed all night long."

Ben Lynch opened the scoring at 14:59 of the first stanza, as he drove to the cage and snuck the puck underneath the pad of Terry Shafer for a 1-0 RIT lead. With the exception of Lynch's tally, Shafer stood his ground though a slew of Tiger opportunities, registering 18 saves through one. RIT struck less than 30 seconds into the middle frame with a goal off the stick of Todd Skirving.

Sophomore David Friedmann countered for the Colonials five minutes later, directing a shot off of a perfect feed from Daniel Leavens on a delayed penalty situation. The assist was Leavens' first career NCAA point.

The Tigers went back up by two, and then three, as Greg Noyes and Josh Mitchell tallied less than two minutes apart, both with the man advantage, to make it 4-1. That spelled the end of Shafer's night, with the sophomore surrendering 4 goals on 24 shots.

"I don't think you can fault him on some of those goals," said Schooley of his starting netminder. "That wasn't on Terry. That was a total team lack of effort."

The score remained stagnant through the majority of the third period, until sophomore defenseman Evan Moore beat RIT goaltender Jordan Ruby through a screen with five to play. Freshman goaltender Brandon Lane relieved Shafer in the second, stopping all 4 pucks fired his way.

RMU will have a chance to correct their mistakes next weekend as they fly to Colorado for a one game set with Air Force next Saturday night. As far as the Colonials are concerned, there's plenty left to learn.

"It's the first game we played poorly in Atlantic hockey," said South. "We have a long season ahead of us. We're still a young team."

"We have to grow up as a team," said Schooley. "You can see our immaturity right now. We have to find a way to win on back to back nights. They wanted it more than we wanted it tonight."

Krushing Cancer
The Colonials will host a cancer awareness weekend, November 22-23, against Holy Cross on the Island. The club is continuing to raise money for former captain Chris Kushneriuk, who battled and beat stage four testicular cancer over the past year. Krush Cancer t-shirts will be on sale during the weekend for $15 apiece, with proceeds benefitting Kushneriuk to pay off his treatment bills. Plus, they're quite stylish.

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