Army West Point learns from past to salvage a point against Niagara

Photo Credit: Mady Salvani-Army West Point Athletics

Tonight, despite wildly out shooting the Purple Eagles of Niagara, the Black Knight of Army West Point found their consistency in the third period and worked together to earn a point in a shootout loss to the Purple Eagles.

As Army West Point Head Coach Brian Riley said, “When you’re down 3-2 with under a minute to go and pull your goalie to tie it I say that’s a good tie.” The coaching staff waited to pull Gavin Abric, only because and felt that because their power play was doing well , and to give the Purple Eagles less free looks at an empty net. With almost half a minute left in regulation, Eric Butte found the equalizer. Butte’s line, and the forwards had good games throughout, and generated a lot of chances.

On his team Riley said that “I think we took a step tonight” Riley likes the direction his team is going on. The group playing tomorrow may have a little more speed to their games, but Riley isn’t sure how much line juggling, if any, will take place.

Riley also had thoughts on 3 on 3 overtime “to have games decided 3 on three … I just think it’s a gimmick.” “ I think it’s awful.” For the college game Riley would like a return to five on five overtime. To actually loose games at the three on three level, according to Riley, is less than ideal.

On the night , Riley praised Eric Butte, Colin Bilek’s line, and Gavin Abric for their efforts. All of them pressed the fight and kept the Black Knights within striking distance, Riley’s group was down two and kept battling. While they got a point, they are hungry for more . Riley said “ I’m definitely proud of them.” As he told AIC Head Coach Eric Lang “if you can have weekends where you get four out of six points you’ll be fine.” The team can earn three more points tomorrow afternoon. 

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