For Army West Point , they do not start with an exhibition as a lot of teams are. Their work starts today to prepare for the grind of the conference that added some of the most talent through the transafer portal. They take on the Friars of Providence College on the road this afternoon, and then begin Atlantic Hockey play next weekend at home against RIT to round out their first two weeks. Here are three things to watch for the Black Knights this season that could determine how far this team goes.
Non conference results
The Black Knights, like every Atlantic Hockey team, will get a full non conference schedule with two added games due to the suspension of the Robert Morris program ( we hope the suspension is only for this year and that the Colonials are back in short order).
With that, Head Coach Brian Riley’s group gets to face the Friars today, and in a couple of weeks faces the Badgers of Wisconsin on the road. These, along with the rest of their non conference schedule helps figure out the pairwise. If the Black Knights want a spot in the NCAA Tournament without winning the Atlantic Hockey Tournament they have to start strong here.
New Impact Makers
Michael Sacco hasn’t played a hockey game since the pandemic started. Army’s goaltenders have about three games of experience coming into this season. All of them, combined with players like Patrick Smyth and Kendrick Frost who did not play last year have to step up to fill the roles of those who are now Second Lieutenants.
Being about “us”
While this article is going up at 2nd intermission of Army-Providence, it is good to look at how the game has gone so far. The Friars have done a lot of things well, and today , they reminded everyone why they are a threat to win Hockey East this season. With that said, the Black Knights have had their fair share of chances and done a lot of things to let the Friars take a 4-0 lead into the third. How the Black Knights respond in the third and what changes the staff makes before Army takes on RIT next week. The Tigers are a strong offensive team that will be studying today’s film for ways to attack this group. For the Black Knights to do well this season they have to be able to adjust after moments like the first two periods against Providence. A lot of new faces are on this group but the goals remain the same, if the new faces can help and returners can take the positives in to this season than all potential positives are on the table for the Black Knights.
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