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Canisius hockey falls to Robert Morris in season opener


Spencer Dorowicz scored with four minutes remaining in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and lift Robert Morris to a 4-3 victory over Canisius in Atlantic Hockey Conference action Friday at KeyBank Rink in HARBORCENTER.
Matthew Graham, Michael Louria and Luke Lynch also scored for the Colonials (1-1-0, 1-1-0 AHC). SeniorRyan Schmelzer, sophomore Nick Hutchison and freshman Matt Long all found the back of the net for the Golden Griffins (0-1-0, 0-1-0 AHC).
Dorowicz's game-winning tally spoiled a furious Canisius comeback that saw the Griffs score three time in a 4:59 stretch early in the third to erase a 3-0 deficit and tie the game.
Hutchison began the sequence with 4:58 gone in the final frame, stuffing home a rebound while the Griffs were on the power play to make it a 3-1 contest.
Schmelzer trimmed the Canisius deficit to 3-2 a little more than two minutes later, weaving through the Colonials defense before sliding the puck around keeper Francis Marotte for his first goal of the campaign.
The Griffs tied the game just before the midway point of the period during a frantic sequence. Long began the play by ringing a shot off the left post on a feed from junior Matt McLeod before the puck was knocked into the Colonials net by a RMU player on the ensuing scramble to knot the score at 3-3.
Dorowicz put RMU back in front for good with exactly four minutes to play, burying a rebound from just outside the crease for his first of the season.  
Earlier in the contest, RMU took advantage of a pair of power play tallies to build a 2-0 cushion after 20 minutes.
Graham opened the scoring at the 9:18 mark of the opening frame with his first of the campaign when he put home a rebound from the top of the crease.
Louria doubled the Colonials margin to 2-0 a little less than five minutes later with his first of the campaign, wiring a wrist shot through traffic from the top of the slot.
Lynch increased the RMU margin to 3-0 at the 15:48 mark of the second, intercepting a Canisius breakout pass and scoring on the ensuing breakaway.
Junior Simon Hofley got the start in goal for the Griffs and made 22 saves. Marotte stopped 30 shots between the pipes for the Colonials.
Head Coach Trevor Large's Postgame Comments
"I think we had controlled emotion in the third period. Early on there were a lot of penalties; a lot of undisciplined energy for an early season contest. We were able to channel that and focus that energy a lot better in the third. It went into our game and not necessarily into being physical.
"After the second period we obviously had a conversation in the locker room. There is so much belief with this team. They never feel as though they are out of any game. We were down 3-0, but there was a lot of talk in the locker room about how we were going to make this a game. They've done that before and that does help with the confidence of the group to know that they can get it done."
Game Notes

  • Robert Morris increased its lead in the all-time series to 17-8-3 with the one-goal victory.
  • Canisius moved to 1-2-1 in home openers at HARBORCENTER. The Colonials were the opponent for the Griffs home opener last season as well.
  • Sophomore Nick Hutchison recorded the ninth power play goal of his career with his third period tally. He led the Griffs last season with eight man-advantage goals.
  • Junior Dylan McLaughlin recorded multiple points in a game for the 15th time in his career. Canisius suffered its first setback in a game in which McLaughlin scored two or more points (14-1-0).
  • Senior Ryan Schmelzer recorded his 11th career point in 10 games against the Colonials with his third period tally (5g, 6a).
  • Junior Simon Hofley made his first start in goal for the Griffs since opening the 2016-17 season between the pipes at North Dakota last October.
  • Canisius honored its 206-17 Atlantic Hockey Conference regular season championship with a banner ceremony prior to the start of the contest.
Up Next
  • The teams complete their two-game series Saturday with a 7:35 p.m. contest at KeyBank Rink in HARBORCENTER.
  • Tickets are available for the game. They can be purchased by calling 716-888-TIXX or by visiting ticketmaster.com.