Sunday night’s Atlantic Hockey contest between the Robert Morris Colonials and Niagara Purple Eagles wasn’t your average college hockey game. Instead in a traditional arena venue, the two rivals took it outdoors in Pittsburgh, PA at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. And though it was a tight game, the Colonials walked away with the victory, 5-1.
The two teams duked it out on the same rink that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers played on the previous night. 3,219 people were in attendance on the brisk Pittsburgh night.
The Colonials got goals from Brandon Watt, Robb Mann, Luke Lynch, Alex Tonge and Jacob Coleman. Sam Rennaker tipped a Keegan Harper point shot in for the lone Purple Eagles tally. Colonials’ G Francois Marotte stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced.
Niagara Head Coach Dave Burkholder decided to get all three of his netminders in on the action. No. 1 goaltender Jackson Tiechrobe played the first period and was charged with the loss, allowing two goals on 15 shots, both coming on 2-on-1 rushes. Sophomore Joe O’Brien got the second period and gave up one goal on 12 shots. Guillame Therien closed it out for his team, allowing two goals on 11 shots.
The outdoor classic was the final game of the regular season for the Purple Eagles. The team travels to another AHA rival this coming weekend for the beginning of the postseason. Niagara and Rochester Institute of Technology will play a best of three at RIT’s Gene Polisenni Center. Game One will be on Friday night, Game Two on Saturday and , if necessary, a decisive Game Three will take place Sunday.