DETROIT, Mich — Wayne State has had trouble scoring goals as of late, but Friday night a timely goal from an unlikely source pulled the Warriors into a 2-2 tie with Robert Morris.
Defenseman Taylor Donohoe’s second goal of the season and only his fourth in his three years at Wayne State (4-13-4, 1-5-3 CHA) knotted the game at two with 9:45 to go in the third period.
Both teams had chances after that and in the overtime, but Wayne State goalie Will Hooper and RMU’s Christian Boucher stood their ground in front of 475 at the Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum.
“We came out and competed and had the lead for most of the game,” Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley said. “Christian stood on his head for us. You look at his games and he makes 30-40 saves a night, and for him, they’re all routine. I think he’s not only a top netminder in the league, but in the entire country.”
The Wayne State side was upbeat, but not 100 percent happy after the stalemate.
“We’re satisfied, but we’re not satisfied,” said WSU head coach Bill Wilkinson. “You obviously like to win and win at home, but right now I think Derek is more happy with getting a point than we are. I don’t know why we can’t score goals.”
The Colonials had a shorthanded chance just 80 seconds into the game as Hooper made a nifty pad save on Tom Biondich, who tried to finish a broken two-on-one in tight. Nate Higgins also had Boucher beat at one point midway through the period, but his shot clanged off the crossbar.
Chris Margott started the scoring for RMU at 7:39 of the second period as he finished off a two-on-one with Brett Hopfe that beat Hooper low to the stick side. Hooper overcommitted to Hopfe, and once he dished to Margott, he was beaten cleanly.
Stavros Paskaris evened it up for the home team 44 seconds later when he banged in a loose puck in front of Boucher during a goalmouth scramble. The goal squashed a seven-game pointless streak for last year’s CHA rookie of the year.
Then, at 10:25, Joel Gasper put home the rebound of a Jason Towsley shot to restore the Colonials’ lead heading into the second intermission.
That set the stage for Donohoe’s game-tying goal. On the play, Adam Smith intercepted a pass behind its netminder and fed Donohoe at the top of the left faceoff circle. His shot went all the way through past a screened Boucher.
Hooper made 21 saves in the WSU net while Boucher finished with 33 saves. Wayne State has scored just 10 goals in the seven games Hooper has started this year.
Robert Morris (5-14-2, 2-6-1 CHA) wasn’t in the mood for a single point Saturday night.
“We came out hard, but we didn’t capitalize tonight,” added Schooley. “We need to bear down and give Christian more support.”
Saturday’s rematch gets underway at 7:05 p.m. at the Coliseum.