RIT 4 Army West Point 3: Three Things

Photo Credit Mady Salvani – Army Athletics

The offense is there

For the Black Knights to go far, they need starts like the one they had on Friday night. To their credit, after how the Providence game ended they showed no quit early on and took the initiative to RIT. They were the better team for the first half of the game in key statistics. The lineup changes by the Army West Point Coaching staff paid immediate dividends as plebe Josh Bohlin potted his first goal on his first shit. Soon after,Colin Bilek found the back of the net for the first time this season, and up to the 1:45 of five on three time the Black Knights looked to be in control of this game.

Defense:Better not Best

After the Black Knights could not score on 1:45 of a 5 on 3 power play, the game changed. The Black Knights still got some chances but could not finish them. Kolby Matthews was the best player on the ice for either team last night as he made many saves on grade a chances when Army carried play and then did enough when his team was doing well to earn the comeback win. As for Army West Point, the last half of the game looked more like the third period of the Providence game in terms of spacing and gap control. That is not a long term formula for success. It does not matter how this team starts if they turn in 30 minutes of defense that only defends their opposition’s chances to score more goals. Their were some bright spots last night for the Black Knights. The defense in the final half from poor gaps to guys getting caught puck watching to giveaways blunted the impact of all of those good things

Now what?

Army Hockey is known for preparing leaders to respond to adversity on the rink, on the battlefield, and in life. This team and staff now have their first test. Not even looking at the final score today to determine how they did is fine. While yes everyone wants to win , and that is the goal, seeing the team play a consistent game for a full 60 minutes and forcing RIT to make the mistakes they did are the two things to watch.

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