Leonoff Makes 37 Saves
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Two third-period goals made the difference Friday night at RMU Island Sports Center as Robert Morris topped Yale 2-0 in the season opener for both teams. The Bulldogs got 37 saves from sophomore goalie Jaimie Leonoff and killed off all five of their own penalties, but were hurt by an 0-for-4 performance on the power play.
Yale (0-1-0, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) was one of just seven teams to limit RMU to one goal last season, as the Colonials went 19-9-4 overall and won the CHA Tournament. Last year, Robert Morris got the game-winner three minutes into the third period and held on for a 1-0 win; this time around, the Bulldogs and Colonials also went into the third period scoreless.
But things turned in the Colonials' favor even more quickly in the final frame this year. Robert Morris went ahead at 1:03 of the third, taking advantage of a turnover in the Yale zone. Forward Thea Imbrogno grabbed the puck and fed forward Kristen Richards, who was all alone with only Leonoff to beat.
RMU (1-0-0, 0-0-0 CHA) nearly extended the lead a few minutes later, but Leonoff was able to deny forward Katelyn Scott from in front to keep the Bulldogs within one.
Yale got a power play with 12:26 left, but after two Bulldog shots were blocked a checking penalty on Yale brought that power play to a premature end. That was followed by another penalty that gave RMU a 5-on-3. But after the first Yale penalty ended, a penalty on the Colonials put the teams at 4-on-4. That was when defenseman Kylie St. Louis scored by backhanding one in with 8:24 to play, putting RMU up 2-0.
Yale pulled Leonoff and called a timeout in the final minutes, but was unable to get anything past goalie Kristen DiCiocco. She finished with 20 saves, seven more than she had to make last season in blanking the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs' season-opening road trip now takes them to RIT for a game Saturday at 2 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity