RMU hockey falls to Minnesota in NCAA Tournament
TribLIVE Sports Videos
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Robert Morris' first foray into the NCAA Tournament was a microcosm of its 2013-14 season: The Colonials fell behind early before rebounding midway through the contest.
But unlike its regular season, in which Robert Morris bounced back from a 2-12-2 start to win 17 of its next 25 games to make the tournament, the Colonials' comeback fell short in a 7-3 loss to No. 1 seed Minnesota at Xcel Energy Center.
The Colonials trailed 4-0 midway through the second period before Cody Wydo and Zac Lynch each scored in the final 6:12 of the middle stanza — Lynch's goal came with 43.5 seconds remaining — to pull within 4-2.
“Once we made it 4-2 heading into the locker room after the second, everyone was pretty upbeat,” Lynch said. “We thought if we could get a few power plays that we would have a pretty good chance.”
That's as close as RMU got. The Gophers tacked on three third-period goals, including two in the final two minutes, to pull away and advance to Sunday's regional final against the winner of St. Cloud State and Notre Dame.
“When you spot a team a 4-0 lead it's really easy for that game to get away from you, and that game did not get away from us,” Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley said. “It's a team that wouldn't quit. It's a team that worked so hard; I'm so proud of how we went about things.”
Lynch and Wydo finished with a goal and an assist each, and linemate Scott Jacklin chipped in two assists. David Friedmann added a goal in the final period, only 25 seconds after Hudson Fasching scored to give Minnesota a 5-2 lead with 5:38 to play.
RMU freshman goaltender Dalton Izyk made 42 saves, including three from point-blank range late in the second leading up to Lynch's late goal.
“Our goalie gave us a chance,” Schooley said. “He played well, he made big saves, he kept the game close.”
The game was scoreless, and the shots were nearly even through the first 16 minutes, before the Gophers erupted for three even-strength goals in the closing minutes of the first period.
Nate Condon, Michael Brodzinski and Justin Kloos scored in a 3:30 span for the Gophers to break open what had been a close contest.
“We thought that we really didn't play that poorly in the first period. We let it get away from us a little,” Robert Morris captain Colin South said. “Our attitude was still pretty positive even though we let the three goals in.”
A little more than five minutes after Kyle Rau extended Minnesota's lead to four at 8:12 of the second, Lynch carried the puck into the slot and slid a pass to Wydo in the left circle. Wydo lifted a backhand shot past the outstretched glove of Wilcox for the junior forward's 31st goal of the season at 13:48 to trim the lead to 4-1.
The Colonials concluded their season with a 19-18-5 record and an Atlantic Hockey championship.
“It's really neat to see where this program has come,” Schooley said. “It's a pretty good way to celebrate your 10th anniversary.”
Brian Halverson is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Taillon headed for surgery, Richard traded
- New Penguin Kessel’s shot is what makes him special
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Tiny black weevils booming in W.Pa.
- Pirates can’t overcome long rain delay, Indians in interleague setback
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- Gorman: Barnstorming tour bigger than baseball
- Proposal aims to bring slots to Pa. airports
- Bethel trio of siblings celebrate 150 years of marriage
- Fun-seekers won’t let a Pittsburgh regatta without races get them down
- Man fatally shot in East Liberty; police investigating 2nd shooting