Colgate offense topples Robert Morris to win Three Rivers Classic title
Colgate kept the Robert Morris goal under fire, and more than enough shots found the net for a Raiders' win.
A huge advantage in shots led to a 6-1 victory for No. 17 Colgate over No. 19 Robert Morris in the championship game of the third annual Three Rivers Classic on Tuesday at Consol Energy Center.
The Raiders (11-6-1) outshot the Colonials (12-3-3), 52-27, and kept Robert Morris goalie Dalton Izyk scrambling for many of his 46 saves.
“That was a very fast hockey team we played, and they were a step quicker than us,” Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley said. “We've got a lot of speed, and we play hard with tenacity, but for whatever reason, we were a step behind and were pinned back in our end a lot of the time.”
Robert Morris took the early lead after Brandon Denham sent a 100-foot, tape-to-tape pass to Matt Cope, who nearly lost the puck on the breakaway but recovered to score on his backhand. But after falling behind, Colgate appeared to reach another gear.
Kyle Baun scored to tie it for Colgate just 1:03 after the Colonials' goal, and Jake Kulevich gave the Raiders a first-period lead with a slap shot from the left boards. Colgate, which was outshot 7-1 in the early minutes finished the first period with a 17-12 advantage.
“I think the most important goal of the game was our first goal,” Colgate coach Don Vaughan said. “We answered in a really timely fashion, and that's important. I think it did help swing the momentum back in our favor.”
The Raiders continued to carry the play in the second period, but Izyk came up with his best stretch of play to keep the score 2-1. That lasted until Joe Wilson jammed in a puck that Izyk believed he had frozen, but with no whistle, the goal counted and Colgate led 3-1 with 6:40 left in the period.
Mike Panowyk made it 4-1 before the end of the third period, which left Robert Morris looking for any way to ease the pressure in its defensive zone.
“I didn't think they had tremendous opportunities for the number of shots that they had, but they capitalized on their chances,” Schooley said. “We were still 2-1 halfway through the game, but it just went downhill from there. You try to go out and muster up energy to win a period in the third, but they go and get two goals and that was it.”
Tyson Spink and Tylor Spink scored in the third period, and Colgate goalie Charlie Finn was named tournament MVP after stopping 54 of 56 shots in two games.
“That was probably as complete of a game as we've played all year. I was really proud of our effort tonight,” Vaughan said. “We just tried to stick to our game. We have a game plan, and we have a system that we want to play and we try to stick to that process no matter what the score is.”
In the consolation game, No. 20 Penn State turned in a listless performance in a 4-1 loss to Western Michigan.
Aidan Muir scored two goals for the Broncos (7-9-2) to give him three for the tournament, and goalie Lukas Hafner stopped 31 of 32 Penn State shots. Curtis Loik had the lone goal for the Nittany Lions (9-6-2) with the team trailing 3-0 in the third period.