Photo Credit: Mady Salvani -Army West Point Athletics
For Associate Head Coach Zach McKelvie, he knows his Black Knights did not play well tonight. However he was also measured with his responses and shows a belief in his group, and for good reason. This weekend, his group had a fair amount of good looks each night, but only got one goal in the opener with none today. Both nights the group went down 2-0 in the first period on one nice goal and one seeing eye goal.
Hear McKelvie’s thoughts on the key parts of the game.
Where did things go wrong today?
“Bentley was more prepared to play on the weekend, they went up early and we didn’t really have a push back. Tonight we had a bad read on the first goal which happens so nothing you can’t recover from but then the very next draw they got a fortunate bounce on a dump in and we are down 2-0 in seven seconds. After the start last night that really got in our heads and we were out of sorts the rest of the night.”
How do you choose whose in net on Thursday after a game like that?
“We have capable goalies, so we know Thursday all three of them will be ready to go if called upon. We will rewatch the game, reflect on it and give coach our opinion on line up decisions.”
Given Justin’s start to the season, how big was it for him to play as well as he did when he came in?
“That’s a tough position for any goalie but he came in and stopped the bleeding. When you change goalies you hope to get a bump from the boys but we didn’t tonight. Regardless Justin came in and managed the rest of game well.”
How frustrating for you guys is it that you’ve generated chances, quality looks all weekend, but have one goal to show for it?
“It’s frustrating for sure but all our guys have pride and we will figure it out together. From coaches on down it’s a waste of energy to dwell on missed opportunities, but as a group we need to come together and build our confidence back up. Every guy on our team has scored, so it’s just about getting back on the ice and working….that’s ultimately how you get your confidence back.”
Is there a temptation to put every line and pair in a blender after a result like today?
“Sure there is. But it has to be well thought out, you can’t just make line up decisions on emotion. So we will reassess and make changes that we feel will give us the best opportunity to play well next game. Regardless of our lines, our guys will be ready to go…this group has great leaders and a ton of conviction.”
Who starts in net on Thursday?
“Not sure yet.”
Are there any good things to take from this one?
“This is a hard league, very good coaches and good players on every team. To win you have to bring it every weekend.”
Add anything else you like, including comments on Coach Riley’s 600th game as Army West Point’s Head Coach
“Coach Riley is a great coach, leader, mentor, and friend. The amount of people he has positively influenced throughout the years is immeasurable as the impact goes far beyond hockey. It’s awesome to have the opportunity to be around him and learn from him on a daily basis.”
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