A game of persistence: Army takes game one 4-0

Photo Credit: Army West Point Athletics

Ricky Lyle is a freshman cadet who came in playing a bottom six role for Army West Point. His consistent puck pressure and effort have vaulted him into the top six for the Black Knights. Tonight, he was one of their forwards who kept Army West Pont in the game in the first two periods with his effort. He looked to have the first goal of the postseason series against the Pioneers of Sacred Heart University. It ended up being called back in the first period as the Black Knights were offside on the entry. He worked with his line and his team throughout the game to keep it tied going into the third period. On the evening he finished with three shots on net, and personified the effort of Head Coach Brian Riley’s group. He said of Lyle, “that’s the one thing about his game, he gives tremendous effort every night, and he’s an Energizer bunny out there.”

After his disallowed tally, Lyle went back to the bench and said to his coach, as Riley told us “he said hey coach I’m gonna get one tonight.” The Duluth Minnesota native proved himself right, as his marker provided insurance in the middle of a four goal third period for the Black Knights. After Mitch Machlitt fired home the first goal of the game in the third, Lyle, Colin Bilek,and Daniel Haider all put home their own tallies to provide the final margin.

On the night, Riley noted that in the first “once we had the goal disallowed then the momentum kind of shifted a bit.” Trevin Kozlowski came up with another shutout tonight. He stopped 34 shots on the night, and earned the game puck from the group after the game for his efforts in net. He held the team through the third, and gave his big committee of scorers a chance to get going. The game played pretty evenly for the night, with both teams getting good looks for most of the first game of this quarterfinal round.

For tomorrow afternoon Riley expects a battle. As he said, “one of the hardest things to do is end somebody’s season.” Sacred heart played shorthanded and still was in position to win it. Given that, as Riley noted “this thing is a long ways from over.” The Black Knights are now one more win away from advancing to the Atlantic Hockey Tournament semifinals.

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