"For a large part of the game, we were very good tonight," said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. "We need to increase our level of play, though, throughout the entire contest and compete for a complete 60 minutes. We need to find a way to bring it long enough tomorrow and get two points at their place."
Senior captain Preston Shupe tallied both of the Griffs goals in the loss.
The Colonials grabbed the early advantage in the game, scoring at the 15:03 mark of the first frame. Greg Gibson knocked in a loose puck in front of the net after Matt Cope made a move to get past a Canisius defender.
The Griffs tied the game at one when Shupe scored a short-handed goal 7:08 into the second stanza. Senior Torrey Lindsay knocked the puck out of the Canisius zone and to center ice. Shupe then took the puck from there and skated in on a breakaway before sliding it past the Robert Morris netminder for his 12th tally of the season.
Robert Morris, however, would respond with two goals 53 seconds apart to take control of the contest. Scott Jacklin gave the Colonials the lead with 7:47 remaining in the second, finding the back of the net on a 2-on-1. Zach Hervato then stretched the Robert Morris advantage to two with 6:54 left in the period. A Canisius defender attempted to start a break from behind the goal but after bringing it out right in front of his own net, Hervato swatted the puck in for the 3-1 lead.
The Colonials then extended their lead to three when Cody Wydo scored a short-handed goal, forcing a turnover at center ice and finishing 1-on-1 for 4-1 advantage.
Shupe added one final tally with 1:13 remaining, deflecting the puck in from close range with assists to freshman Stephen Miller and sophomore Tyler Wiseman, but it proved to be too late as Robert Morris earned the 4-2 win.
Canisius finished the game with a 43-35 advantage in shots with both teams going 0-for-2 on the power play.
Eric Levine recorded 41 saves in the win for Robert Morris, while junior Tony Capobianco and sophomore Keegan Asmundson combined to make 31 saves for Canisius.
The schools are set to complete the season series tomorrow night in Pittsburgh. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius lost for the first time this season when Shupe netted a goal. The Griffs were 8-0-0 when he scored a goal ... Canisius won a season-best 69.7 percent of faceoffs (46-of-66). The previous high was 61.5 percent (40-of-65 at Mercyhurst on Jan. 26) ... Shupe recorded multiple goals in a game for the fifth time in his career and the third time this season.