Pittsburgh -- After falling to the No. 4 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on Friday night, the Robert Morris University women's ice hockey team came out Saturday afternoon and shocked the Bulldogs with a dominating 4-1 victory at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.
The Colonials tallied the first goal of the game midway through the first period and never let go of that lead throughout the remainder of play. Junior goalie Daneca Butterfield (Kronau, Saskatchewan/Notre Dame Hounds) put on an impressive performance, holding off 45 shots in route to the 4-1 victory.
“After last night’s game we knew that we had to play better,” said head coach Nate Handrahan. “We came out and executed more thoroughly. UMD is a great team and we had to be at our best. We had some vets really elevate their game and be leaders.”
The Colonials were outshot 18 to seven in the first period, but the Colonial blue line did not let that phase them as it held off every single shot. With 6:02 left to play in the first period sophomore Brianna Delaney (Stittsville, Ontario/ NCCP Raiders) skated her way through the Bulldog defensemen and scored on an unassisted play to give RMU the 1-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs fought to match the goal by the end of period one, but Buttefield’s relentless goaltending skills left UMD scoreless.
In the second period, RMU wasted no time to increase its lead. UMD’s Sarah Murray was charged with a hooking infraction at 4:22 giving RMU its third power-play opportunity of the contest. Just 17 seconds into the extra-man advantage junior Maria Stoa (Bloomington, Minn./Eden Prairie) found a pass from freshman Kathleen McDonald (Kamloops, British Columbia/Team BC & POE) and beat Duluth goalie Jennifer Harss for her first goal of the season.
Less than 20 seconds later, Robert Morris grabbed a 3-0 advantage when junior Sara O’Malley (Guelph, Ontario/Hamilton Hawks) grabbed her own reflected shot and found an opening in the Duluth net. The two teams battled for the next 16 minutes, but to no avail, as neither team was able to connect. However at 16:23 Minnesota Duluth was finally able to secure a point when Emmanuelle Blais scored off an assist from Katherine Wilson to set the score at 3-1.
Early in the third period O’Malley tacked on another goal for the Colonials, marking her second of the contest to finalize the Colonial win, 4-1. Freshman Cobina Delaney (Stittsville, Ontario/Ottawa Senators) was credited with the assist for her first collegiate point.
The Colonials were outshot 46 to 23, but was very effective in their penalty kill as they stopped the Bulldogs on all five of their power play opportunities. RMU was successful on one-of-three extra man advantages.
RMU returns to action on Friday, Oct. 9 when it travels to Boston to take on Boston University at 7 p.m.