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College Photos: Senior Day Robert Morris Colonials vs Mercyhurst Lakers

On Feb. 18 the Robert Morris Colonials and Mercyhurst Lakers played their last home-and-home series against each other. For the Friday night game the teams battled it out in Erie, Pa. The Mercyhurst Lakers took the win on home ice, 7-4. Despite the loss, RMU had a moment to celebrate during the Friday game as Elias Ghantous, a Junior defenseman for the Colonials, scored his first career goal.

However, for the Saturday game, the teams headed to Pittsburgh, Pa. to play at the 84 Lumber Arena. This would be the final home game of the regular season for the Colonials. Meaning, Robert Morris would honor their four seniors in a pre-game ceremony.

Dalton Izyk, goaltender
Daniel Leavens, Assistant Captain and forward
Rob Mann, Team Captain and defenseman
Ben Robillard, Assistant Captain and forward

Robert Morris came out looking for their senior day, home ice win. While Mercyhurst was looking for that final sweep against their I-79 rival. The Lakers took the lead in the first, capitalizing on the power-play. Laker’s Captain, Jack Riley, scored his 6th of the season. Derek Barach, Assistant Captain, and Zach Todd registering assists. Despite the Colonials outshooting 13-10 in the period, the Lakers would hold the lead 1-0.

However, the Colonials came out swinging for the second. It didn’t take long the Colonials long to find the net and tying the game. Freshman, Daniel Mantenuto, snagged his second of the season with some help from Timmy Moore and Luke Lynch. But, Sophomore Taylor Best of the Lakers would take the lead back before the end of the period. Netting his 9th of the season with an assist from line mate Joshua Lammon. Although the Colonials had the shot advantage, 15-7 in the second, Lakers had the lead 2-1.

Presumably, the third was rough on both teams. But, the Colonials would find the net, tying the game once again. Timmy Moore capitalized on the power play from Daniel Leavens and Brady Ferguson. The period was an even battle with 9 shots on goal for both teams. Even so, the Lakers were unable to answer sending the game into a five minute overtime. In the four match ups between the Lakers and the Colonials this season, this would be the third to go into overtime.

Just before the two minute mark, the Colonials would register their first shot on goal for the overtime period, from Ben Robillard. With that one shot, the Colonials would net the final goal of the game. Robillard would get his 4th of the season, 10th of his career, with an assist from Brandon Watt. In all, the Lakers registered two shots and the Colonials registered one. Though, the Colonials would take the overtime victory 3-2.

However, it was the perfect ending to Robillard’s time in the Lumberyard. Ben Robillard spent much of his sophomore and junior season’s sitting in the stands tending to a hip injury and saw very limited ice time. It is only fitting that he would net the final goal for the seniors at the 84 Lumber Arena.

Before leaving the ice, the RMU Pep Band played ‘O, Canada’ in honor of the three Canadian seniors (Mann, Leavens, Robillard). The team would remove their helmets and quietly take in their National Anthem, and give a stick tap at the end. They would stay for the playing the RMU Alma Mater before heading to the locker room and eventually their senior banquet.

Up next: The Colonials head to New York to play Niagara on Feb 25. Then, the two teams will take it outside for their final regular season at Heinz Field on Feb 26. Meanwhile, Mercyhurst has two regular season games left. The Lakers play Feb 23 against Canisius and RIT on Feb 25.

Pucks and Rec’s Photo Editor and College Hockey Photographer, Jenn Hoffman, was on site to capture the action. To see more from Jenn you can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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