College Hockey:
Cruthers Scores Twice, Robert Morris Finishes Sweep Of Niagara

— Robert Morris improved to 3-2 against ranked teams in 2006-07 following a 5-2 win against Niagara in College Hockey America action at the RMU Island Sports Center Saturday night.

The Colonials (11-13-1, 7-7-0 CHA) outscored the Purple Eagles (17-10-3, 8-3-3 CHA) 12-3 over two nights, including a 7-1 win Friday.

The Colonials owned the majority of chances in the first period, outshooting the visiting Purple Eagles, 19-5, but neither team could find the back of the net.

Both teams broke out in the second period and each recovered from one-goal deficits with Robert Morris eventually taking a 3-2 lead into the intermission. Three of the five goals came on the power play and one was a four-on-four score.

Senior Doug Conley opened the scoring for RMU with an easy power-play goal on a cross-ice feed from the left circle by sophomore Chris Margott. Margott found Conley on the doorstep for an open net 1:31 into the second period.

Niagara came back with the next two goals, started by Sean Bentivoglio, who poked home a rebound on a two-on-one break with Les Reaney. Pat Oliveto started the rush out of the defensive zone with a long pass. Ted Cook’s league-leading 27th of the year came with the man-advantage as he found himself wide-open on the doorstep after a pass from Chris Moran.

Colonials junior Ryan Cruthers answered with the first of his two goals on the night at 15:24, a power-play score. Senior Aaron Clarke and freshman Kyle Frieday picked up the helpers.

Margott gave RMU the lead 1:26 later when he broke in alone on Pagliero and beat him to the stick side after Conley sprang him with a pass up the left wing. Junior defenseman Rob Cowan started the play from behind the Colonial net.

Robert Morris added to the lead with its third power-play marker night, again off the stick of Cruthers. The junior buried a rebound of a shot by Clarke from the right circle at 7:40 of the third period. Junior Sean Berkstresser also had an assist.

Rob Cowan and freshman Dave Cowan connected on the team’s first brother-to-brother goal as the younger Cowan fed the older for a shorthanded empty-netter that traveled the length of the ice with three seconds left in regulation. It was Rob’s first goal of the year and Dave’s first assist.

Colonials junior goaltender Christian Boucher came up big over the final 40 minutes, making 34 of his 39 saves in the last two periods. Pagliero finished with 32 saves, including 19 in the first period, as Niagara held a 41-37 advantage in shots. Robert Morris converted on 3 of 5 power plays to finish the weekend 5-for-10 on the power play. Niagara converted on one of eight chances.

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