Bensenville, Ill. – The fifth ranked Robert Morris Men's Gold Hockey team was upset in the second round of the ACHA National Tournament by 12th seeded Iowa State University by the score of 2-1 in overtime on Saturday, March 2nd at The Edge Ice Arena. The loss ended the season for the Eagles with a record of 28-8-1 and the 28 victories set a RMU program record for most wins in a season.
The Eagles were looking to exact revenge on the Cyclones after suffering a 2-0 loss to Iowa State two weeks prior in the CSCHL Tournament. The teams had met five previous times this season with the Eagles holding a narrow 3-2 edge in the series, including a series sweep on RMU's home ice at The Edge, where the team was undefeated heading into the match-up.
In front of a loud and boisterous home crowd, the game started off well for the Eagles as Derek Winkler gave RMU a 1-0 lead just under two minutes into the game. The goal was assisted by Josh Kaebel. The Eagles continued to pressure the Cyclones net and had several near-miss scoring chances throughout the first period. However, the Eagles were unable to register a second goal and held a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
Iowa State came out with a resurgence in the second period, controlling the play and creating several scoring chances of their own. The Eagles defense and goaltender Andy DiCristofaro held strong throughout the majority of the period but the Cyclones found the equalizer with just 1:14 left in the period. The goal was scored by Jon Feavel and assisted by Nate Percy and Chris Cucullu.
The third period was a scoreless affair with both teams having their chances to take the lead. RMU had two good scoring chances in the final few minutes but Iowa State goaltender Matthew Cooper made a strong save on a RMU semi-breakaway attempt to send the game to overtime. The Cyclones struck quickly in overtime, with Nate Percy slamming home a loose puck just 2:07 into the extra period ending the game and season for the Eagles.
And what an outstanding season it was for the Eagles. RMU not only set a program record for wins in a season at 28, but also advanced to its third straight ACHA National Tournament. The team also had a strong showing in the tough CSCHL League, which features ACHA National Tournament qualifiers Ohio University, University of Illinois, Lindenwood University, Iowa State University. All four teams advanced on to the ACHA National Tournament quarter-finals with wins on Saturday and RMU held a remarkable 17-7 record against all ACHA National Tournament teams this season.