HAMDEN, Conn. — Gritty play earned Robert Morris a point Friday night, as the Colonials (3-11-2, 0-5-1 CHA) battled to a 2-2 tie against Quinnipiac (5-6-2, 2-2-1 AHA) Saturday night at the Northford Ice Pavilion. Robert Morris came back from a 2-0 deficit to manage the draw in the first-ever matchup between the teams.
The Colonials entered the game with only three wins — all against members of the Atlantic Hockey Association.
Robert Morris came out physical, gritty, and determined Saturday. Despite having 18 freshmen in the lineup, the Colonials created no fewer than five five-on-threes and many scoring opportunities while capitalizing on one in the first period.
On the other hand, the Bobcats started sluggish, but ended up with two goals in the first.
“With so many freshmen in the lineup we just need to work hard and see where it takes us,” said Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley.
The Bobcats got on the board at 7:48 with a goal by Aaron Ludwig and an assist to Jamie Bates. The play developed when Quinnipiac was on the break, as a 3-on-2 ensued. Bates fed the slot pass to Ludwig, who put the puck past Colonials’ goaltender Christian Boucher’s glove side.
Quinnipiac doubled its score four minutes later when Matt Craig notched his team-leading seventh goal of the season, on the power play. After an RMU penalty, Quinnipiac won the faceoff back to Dan Lefort, and he and Reid Cashman played pass-the-puck for about 10 seconds, until Cashman saw an opening and ripped the puck low and Craig got the tip of his blade on it to deflect it in and make it 2-0.
The Colonials answered with gritty play at 15:54 of the first. The play started when the Colonials had a 1 on-1 play develop, where Chris Kaufman was battled by Bobcats defender Joe Testa. As Kaufman was falling to the ice, he sent a drop pass to a streaking Doug Conley. He shot the puck wide left of the net, but got a bounce right back to him off the glass. Bobcat goaltender Jamie Holden was caught looking for the puck and Conley put it over his right side.
There was no scoring in the second period but Robert Morris continued the domination, outshooting the Bobcats 11-6.
Robert Morris tied it up at two, at 8:47 of the third, on a power-play goal scored by Joe Federoff. The Colonials were battling in front of Holden and Federoff was able to chip the puck in and twinkled the twine. Kaufman assisted on the play.
“It was a good comeback from being down 2-0, against a good team in Quinnipiac,” said Schooley. “We didn’t give up a goal in the last 48 minutes of the game. We worked hard and found some opportunities.”
Quinnipiac was outshot by Robert Morris 27-21. Quinnipiac was also well below its season average of 26.6 penalty minutes per game, with 12.
The Bobcats and Colonials are back in action for the second game of the series Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Northford Ice Pavilion.