Photo Credit:Mady Salvani- Army West Point Athletics
If you looked only at the box score, you would see that Army West Point beat their second straight ECAC opponent at Tate Rink, the Yale Bulldogs, by a score of 6-3. That does not tell the whole story to this one. While the Black Knights jumped ahead early thanks to a Colin Bilek shorthanded goal, and Kendrick Frost’s first college hockey goal, the Bulldogs answered back in the second. Keyed on by Connor Hopkins in net, who stopped 43 of 47 shots faced, the Bulldogs tied things up and made the Black Knights earn everything until two empty net markers including a hat trick tally for their captain, Colin Bilek, iced things. Bilek also had the game winning goal on the power play.
The shot went in and out so fast Riley credited Associate Head Coach Zach McKelvie for recognizing the different sound that Bilek’s shot made. The officials reviewed the goal, credited it to the Black Knights , and added three minutes or so back to the clock in the third period. From there, reigning National Goaltender of the Month, Gavin Abric, finished the work well in his own end, playing a confident game and limiting rebounds.
Head Coach Brian Riley said of the evening that his team had a good start and a good jump. “At 2-0 I felt like we were playing pretty good.” He credited Yale for their ability to tie it.
” These are the games that we’ve been in all year.” Given that special teams ” I just thought the special teams tonight did a great job” He praised the sold out crowd of 1989 fans at Tate Rink as well. On the hat trick Bilek had to jump start his production, Riley was honest in saying “ He just need to have one of these games.”
On Kendrick Frost getting his first goal Riley went on “We’ve said the Frosty is a guy if he can get some space out there that he can shoot it. I told him after practice that ‘you’ve scored 100 goals this week.” Riley just wanted him to get in position and he got there. He also added that Joey Baez, who had another high energy night and has found a consistent spot in Riley’s lineup, is close to putting home a lot of goals given his track record, and Riley praised the process and effort he sees from Baez which is helping provide depth now for his team.
Riley will be wearing the same suit for the Niagara series, and like last year will be foregoing a haircut until further notice. While Riley claims that he’s is not superstitious he did similar things last year as his team went on a long unbeaten streak. Riley finished He noted that his team got better since the start of the season in battling in close games and in addition that he is ready to resume league play.
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