April 6, 2010

Robert Morris Rises Above Canisius

from press release

- The Robert Morris University Colonials extended their winning streak to three games following a 17-11 victory over the Canisius Golden Griffins on Tuesday afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium. The Griffs led 3-2 after the first quarter, but RMU performed strongly in the second quarter to take over the lead with Canisius trailing behind for the remainder of play. The victory brings the Colonials record to 8-2 overall, while Canisius drops to 5-2.

Junior Trevor Moore (Port Coquitlam, B.C. / Western Reserve Academy) extended his scoring streak to 25 games and led the contest with four goals and one assist for five points and junior Keith Lee (Hudson, Ohio / Western Reserve Academy) tied a season-high four goals in the victory. Patrick Smith (Westminster, Md. / Westminster) finished the contest with a game-high four helpers and also added two goals, while sophomore Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario / Saltfleet) contributed a pair of goals and assists in the win. Seven other Colonials recorded at least one point in the win.

For the first time in seven games Robert Morris did not score the first goal of the contest as Canisius's Simon Giourmetakis scored for the Griffs off an assist by Adam Jones at 2:27 into the first quarter. The Griff's defense held RMU scoreless until Lee fired a shot into the top corner past Griff goalie Sean Callahan with 6:32 left to play, which marked the second game Lee led off the scoring for RMU.

Both teams continued to cause each other to struggle with intense defensive play, but Lee was able to put RMU 2-1 with 2:53 on the clock when he whipped a shot into the net from 20 yards off with Smith assisting on the play. Jones took back the lead for the Griffs, 3-2, by scoring twice in the last two minutes of play giving Canisius a one goal advantage heading into the second quarter.

The Colonials' offense exploded in the second quarter and scored eight goals to the Griff's three throughout the 15 minutes. Matisz opened up the quarter with a goal just 49 seconds into play off a Smith assist to knot the score 3-3. At 3:24 Tao-Brambleby picked up a loose ball rebound and found an opening in the Griff's net to give RMU a 4-3 lead. Less than two minutes later Moore added to RMU's lead with his first goal of the contest, but Canisius responded with two goals by Mike Benzinger, with one being earned on an extra-man advantage to knot the score 5-5 with 8:00 left to play in the half. The Griffs would earn their final lead of the contest when Nick LoCoco scored a goal 10 seconds later to put Canisius up 6-5.

However, Taylor Caparosa (Annapolis, Md. / Annapolis) stepped up for the Colonials and ripped a shot into the top shelf to knot the game for the fourth time, 6-6. His goal was followed by back-to-back Moore goals and goals by Lee and Kevin Brownell (Burlington, Ontario / Central) to give RMU a 10-6 advantage heading into the third frame.

Lee scored his fourth goal of the contest to start the third quarter, with Smith assisting on the play, which was followed by three Griffin goals to bring them within two of the Colonials at 11-9 with 6:59 left to play. Taylor Graves (Carlsbad, Calif. / Carlsbad) and Kyle Buchanan (Nepean, Ontario / John McCrae) answered for the Colonials to give them a four goal lead with 2:16 left in the quarter. Matt Barkas ended the 15 minute session with a score with 1:10 left to play to close the gap to three goals, 13-10.

The fourth quarter was relatively quiet for the majority of play. Smith scored the opening goal of the frame at 3:03, but neither team was able to connect on a shot for the next eight minutes. Smith was able to break the silence by scoring his fourth goal of the contest with 3:50 left on the clock and goals by Moore and Matisz at the 11:49 and 12:24 marks gave RMU its biggest lead of the contest at 17-10. Canisius closed out the quarter with a goal by John Minieri with 1:21 left to play.

The RMU duo of Charles Ruppert (Long Island, N.Y. / Massapequa) and Dillon Pope (Smithtown, N.Y. / Smithtown West) combined for nine saves, with five coming from Ruppert and four coming off the stick of Pope. Callahan finished the contest with four saves for the Griffs after 27:04 minutes of work, with Kyle Bell finishing off the game with five saves.

Canisius was successful on one-of-five extra man opportunities and held RMU scoreless on all four of their chances.

The Colonials return to action on Saturday, April 10 when they host Bryant at 1:00 p.m. at Joe Walton Stadium.

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