Photo Credit: Mady Salvani-Army West Point
Tonight, the Black Knights of Army West Point learned from their battle against Sacred Heart. Despite losing 4-2 they took some lessons away that could help them later this season. As Coach Brian Riley said “we put ourselves in a tough spot down three goals , the third period was our best period.. we were kind of chasing the game from the start … I just thought we made it hard for ourselves tonight. We didn’t manage the game very well.”
Riley praised Joey Baez’s ascendancy “ we’ve said all along that he’s got the ability to score, we are going to need guys like him to get on the scoresheet.” Riley also praised Michael Sacco for his work in the dot. “He’s a real good skater, and plays a lot bigger than his size, every game that he can play and get more experience, I thought he had a very good game tonight. He has the ability to play center or the wing. I think he has a lot of confidence playing in the middle. We knew that he’d be an option for us to play in the middle if we needed to do that. He’s filled in and done a good job.”Army lead the way in the faceoff dot tonight and Sacco was a big part of that. Riley also was blunt about the sucess of Gavin Abric in net for his team tonight. “We left him our to dry a couple of times.” Riley praised Gavin Abric for keeping his team in the game.
Riley was looking for more from his leadership group to have a better game and help the rest of his team. As he said, “that’s a responsibility that our guys enjoy having.”
Moving forward Riley described what happened and what’s next in saying “You either teach or get taught a lesson. We got taught a lesson tonight that we need to be a lot better and you can’t make a mental mistake. We will look at the film tomorrow and have a good video session. After that video session our focus will be completely on Holy Cross.
On how the game went and the message he wants his group to take away from this as future leaders of the Army he added.
“We kind of became individualistic out there. We wanted to have so much success out there that guys kind of went on their own. Every game is an opportunity to develop as a leader for every single one of our guys, when you get knocked down you have to get back up. I think our leadership group will respond and be better on Friday. That’s why I talk about the rink as a leadership laboratory. The lessons they learn will help to develop and shape our players to be the leaders when they graduate to lead this nations sons and daughters.”
Finally on their next challenge of Holy Cross Riley added “They are going to challenge you to outwork them. Bill Riga has gone in and got them working really hard again. These are going to be physical games. Ice is going to be hard to get. You’re going to have to earn every inch of it. I’m looking forward to I’m sure what will be a blue collar hard nosed hockey weekend for sure.”