There are nights when a game gets away and quickly spirals out of hand.
The Robert Morris hockey team had one Tuesday, losing, 8-1, to Mercyhurst in an Atlantic Hockey Association game at 84 Lumber Arena.
The Colonials used all three of their goalies -- starter Eric Levine, who gave up four goals, and backup Terry Shafer and third goalie Eric Ferber, who each gave up two goals.
Robert Morris arguably was in the game through the end of the second period when it trailed, 4-1, but was outshooting the Lakers, 24-18, and getting traffic in front of the net.
Mercyhurst scored its final three goals in the last 3:29.
"We quit when they scored the fifth goal. That's not fair to our goaltenders and fair to our team because that was not an 8-1 hockey game," said coach Derek Schooley. "I thought we played extremely well for 55 minutes ... it got ugly in a hurry with five minutes to go."
The Colonials dropped to 14-10-2 overall and 9-9-1 in the AHA, but were coming off a two-game sweep against Sacred Heart in which they scored 13 goals in 6-3 and 7-4 wins.
"That's exactly it. Until it was 5-1, we had a lot of jump and were getting pucks on net," said captain Brendan Jamison, a defenseman. "As soon as it hit 5-1, we kind of quit and hopefully we learn from that. It kind of [stinks] to end a game like that."
Robert Morris revamped the power play and saw improved success in its possession time in the opponent's zone against Sacred Heart.
On Tuesday, they certainly were creating chances, but were unable to convert after a first-period goal by Mac Roy, including five power-play chances and one 5-on-3.
"Absolutely if we would've popped one early in the game, it would've changed the momentum completely," said Jamison. "Since we play Friday and Saturday, you've got to have a short memory and forget about it."
It took Mercyhurst (14-10-2, 11-6-1) all of 19 seconds to take a lead when right wing Paul Chiasson knocked in a backhand goal off the rebound, catching the Colonials off guard early.
Then Mercyhurst leading scorer Ryan Misiak caught Levine with an odd-angle shot from the left wall that bounced up and over his shoulder at 1:37. He seemed stunned for a second that his shot made its way into the net.
Colonials left wing Roy cut the deficit when he one-timed a pass off the rush at 5:41, taking a feed from David Friedmann in the low slot to make it 2-1.
The Lakers scored two more in the second period to extend the lead to 4-1 when Daniel O'Donoghue finished on the power play at 7:32, then Chris Bodo made added another at 16:13.
Shafer came out of the locker room to start the third period in goal.
Daniel Bahntge scored at 13:52 of the third to make it 5-1 and from there it got ugly fast.
Grant Blakey banked one in to make it 6-1 at 16:31, as Ferber came in for the final 3:29 and allowed the last two goals at 17:54 and 19:33.
Jenn Menendez: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1959 and Twitter @JennMenendez.