MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — In a game that saw lead changes and dramatic moments for over 60 minutes, Robert Morris forward Colin South’s overtime goal gave Robert Morris a crucial 6-5 victory over Niagara.
“It was an emotional game tonight” said Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley. “It was almost like fast break hockey; whoever had the puck last was going to win, it seemed like. The last few games, we hadn’t always gotten what we deserved result-wise, but we got what we deserved tonight, a big two points against Niagara, and not a lot of teams have points against them this year.”
The scoring opened at 5:05 when Niagara’s Giancarlo Iuorio added to his weekend point total with an unassisted short-handed marker. Robert Morris took the next turn on the scoreboard at 15:14 forward Jeff Jones won a battle behind the Niagara goal line and worked the puck to a waiting South, camped out in the low slot. South banged home Jones’ pass to even the contest.
Less than three minutes later, Niagara’s Ryan Murphy sent a low shot past Colonials netminder Eric Levine to put Niagara back up.
At 8:52 of the second, Purple Eagles forward Dan Kolenda was given a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding. The Colonials took full advantage and dented twine twice on the major power play. The first goal came off the stick of Zac Lynch at 9:03, and then a minute and a half later, forward Scott Jacklin beat Campbell with a sharp angle shot to put the Colonials in the lead.
The third period started with the Purple Eagles working on a power play, which they used to tie the score when Dan Weiss beat Levine with a low, hard shot that clanked off the left post and in at 1:16.
On a four-on-four, Issac Kohls beat Levine from the left circle to put the Purple Eagles back in front. It would be the last Niagara lead of the night however, as Cody Wydo tied the game with the goal of the night. Working on a penalty kill, Wydo won a loose puck battle and entered Niagara territory with one man to beat. Wydo then geared down and cut to the net, patiently waiting out the Niagara defender who went down attempting to block the shot and then beating Campbell with the tying goal at 8:46. Matt Cope then put the Colonials ahead at 10:21 when a loose puck found itself in the slot, which Cope put past Campbell for his third career goal.
The Eagles scored with the extra attacker at 18:56 when Hugo Turcotteto put home a loose puck toward the end of a long-lasting goalmouth scramble. The Colonials never kept their heads down however, and managed to take the contest to overtime, where Dineen was sent off at 1:15 for boarding. South then seized the opportunity and took a brilliant pass from defenseman Jimmy Geerin at 1:53, which he buried for the game-winner.
“I like how we fought back tonight,” said Niagara coach Dave Burkholder. “We kept fighting back all night and got that huge extra-attacker goal. Playing in overtime, we thought we needed a point to win the regular season championship, so it was quite a wide range of emotions going on tonight. We went from losing in overtime to walking into the dressing room to find out we’d won the title. These last four games, we’re playing for PairWise ranking, so there’s still a lot to play for these last two weeks.”
The Eagles clinched the regular season championship following the game when Mercyhurst lost to RIT.