History made: Army West Point earns a 3 OT win to advance to AHA Semifinals

Photo Credit: Army West Point Athletics

Army West Point, once again, had to overcome being scored on first. The Black Knights went down 2-0 to a Sacred Heart team that threw everything they had at them. Despite that, and coming back twice to tie the game, the second game of the Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinal round went three overtimes. In the third overtime, Colin Bilek took a feed from Mitch Machlitt and had the puck go in to the top right of the net off his skate. He took great care to not kick it, thus allowing the game winner to stand.. Bilek’s 18th tally proved to be the difference in the gamr toni As Riley said of this routine “our guys have persevered and come back a lot this year.” Of this game he said that, “this is a memory that will last forever.” This win comes in the longest game in Army’s history.

As usual, Riley credited the Pioneers for throwing everything at his group, and standout David Benson who finished on the evening with 64 saves. Riley has been on both sides of tough overtime losses, and mentioned the effort that the Pioneers put forth to his team when he spoke to them after the game.

On some of his seniors, Riley had some thoughts as well.

On Mason Kreuger Riley said, “Krugs has had a great career for us.. comes to the rink everyday with a smile on his face, he’s one of those guys that quietly gets his name on the scoresheet.” He went on to discuss their senior class in general in saying, “for our seniors to be playing some of their best hockey.. that’s what you hope for .. all of our seniors have contributed.” Riley praised the work of senior extra forward Kevin Dineen. Despite not having shift until the third overtime, his speed and energy brought the bench to life, and helped push his team forward to complete the mission.

Starting netminder, Trevin Kozlowski who stopped 39 pucks on the evening, said this regarding his final game at home. He said, ” I love Tate Rink.. I didn’t want to really leave the ice for a minute or two.. just wanted to take some time to myself to soak it all in.” After the Bilek goal, he and Krueger were on the ice for a few minutes, on their own, and used that time to reflect on their experience in that moment before joining the group in the locker room. Next week, depending on what happens tomorrow, Army will play the highest remaining seed from the West Pod in Atlantic Hockey. That means they will see Robert Morris or Canisius should the Colonials falter to Niagara tomorrow afternoon.

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