NEVILLE ISLAND, Pa. — Robert Morris ended the regular season with a 3-2 loss against Niagara University at the RMU Island Sports Center on Saturday night.
For the Colonials, their second season showed marked improvement over the inaugural season of 2004-05 when they finished 8-21-4. Robert Morris sits at 11-19-3 on the year and 7-11-2 in CHA play.
With the win, the Purple Eagles clinched the Peter’s Cup that goes to the CHA regular-season winner.
Niagara (19-14-1, 13-6-1 CHA) opened the scoring just 75 seconds into the game as Les Reaney tallied his 13th goal of the year on a give-and-go play with Sean Bentivoglio. Robert Morris outshot Niagara, 16-12, in the period but went into the locker trailing, 1-0.
The Purple Eagles extended their lead to 2-0 at 5:35 of the second period when Ted Cook found the net from a tough angle in the left circle. Reaney and Bentivoglio earned the assists on the goal.
Freshman forward Jason Towsley put the Colonials on the board 2:10 later with his fourth of the year. Towsley picked up a pass in the slot from sophomore Tom Biondich and finished off the goal with a second effort, cutting the margin to 2-1.
Armando Scarlato took a slashing penalty 2:46 into third period, giving Robert Morris its fourth power play of the night. Sophomore Brett Hopfe took advantage just six seconds later, tipping in a shot from senior Kurt Wright to tie the game at 2-2.
The Purple Eagles had the answer again, however, and this time it proved to be the game winner. Scott Langdon’s third goal of the season came on a slapshot from the right point that beat Colonials goaltender Christian Boucher to the near side 8:48 into the final frame.
The Colonials finished the game with one power-play goal in four chances while holding Niagara scoreless on three tries. RMU has not allowed a power-play goal in the last four games, killing off 18 chances during that time. Both teams finished with 28 shots on goal as Boucher made 25 saves and Niagara’s Jeff Van Nynatten ended the game with 26 saves.
The Colonials, who had locked fourth-place in the CHA coming into the weekend, will take on Air Force on Friday, March 10, in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Robert Morris swept the season series with Air Force and have five straight wins against the Falcons.