Photo Credit: Mady Salvani-Army West Point Athletics
This weekend, the Black Knights of Army West Point were scheduled to only play RPI on Sunday. They still will, but they added another opponent today. Head Coach Brian Riley added Penn State to the schedule the day before. The Nittany Lions do have a loss to a very good Canisius team, and are more than capable of doing some things in their conference in the second half of the season.
Hear from Army Head Coach Brian Riley on how quick this happened. As of this morning, there was no game against the Nittany Lions.
Riley said “ I think players from each side were talking to each other because when I came into the rink today guys were asking if we were playing Penn State and I said I hadn’t heard anything from Penn State. The only game we had this weekend was RPI on Sunday. At 1:00 their Ops guy reached out to our Ops guy and their Asst. reached out to our Assistant and I said what the heck I reached out to Guy Gadowsky and in about 3 hours we had it approved by our Administration. Not the ideal situation playing them on Saturday at 5:00 and then turning around and playing RPI at 2:00 but we owe it to our guys to play when we have the opportunity. Grateful to have both Penn State and RPI at Tate Rink this weekend. Also very grateful for our Administration allowing us to play and working hard behind the scenes to put all the pieces in place so we could play the game.”
The Black Knights now have a chance to raise their national profile this weekend. Should they somehow win both of their non conference games the fortunes of Atlantic Hockey could be different as well. Riley and Penn State all deserve credit for making lemonade out of lemons with Maine’s cancellation against Penn State for the weekend providing this open. A strong positive for all involved is earned in keeping this game going during another season affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.
For this weekend, the Black Knights need to find the same level of scoring they had in their sweep of RIT with the ability to limit damage they found against Wisconsin early ok in this one.