Photo Credit:Mady Salvani-Army West Point Athletics
As has often been the case recently, the Black Knights of Army West Point found themselves down multiple goals early. Tonight against Air Force, they trailed 2-0 before responding with an effort for the ages. Daniel Haider put up a hat trick, Michael Sacco put in his first goal as a Black Knight, and the team had Cadet Ice Arena silent throughout a vast amount of the evening.
Forward Ricky Lyle Jr. offered some perspective on the night and some other thoughts. Lyle also potted a goal of his own to aid in the win.
On Sacco and what he brings to the team Lyle said “if you need a laugh you go to him, and to be able to get us a goal at a big moment is really big for him.” Sacco played Lacrosse at the Prep School for West Point to stay in shape and he has earned every second of ice this season for Head Coach Brian Riley’s group.
Lyle the win in perspective in saying “I think coming out here, it’s a tough place to play. It’s been two years in the making for the sophomores. To come out here and get the energy they had after being two behind.. it’s becoming almost common ( to have that energy) at this point.”
On the rivalry, unlike any other in college hockey, Lyle said that “It’s just the difference in between schools.. in two-three years we could be together somewhere ( somewhere includes not pleasant locations).”
On Lyle’s goal it came on a lot of practice , hours and hours spent working on tipping shots from his dad paid off tonight. He was so proud to get this done in front of his family, and the release of emotions was real and Lyle gets his superb energy and personality in large part from his family. This goal for him tonight meant more because they were there. The Anthony Firriolo shot was in a perfect spot for him to put away, and Lyle did just that.
On the winning goaltender Gavin Abric, Lyle said , “We can trust Gavin, that even when we’re down we have it.”
Senior forward Daniel Haider added some thoughts on the win. He said “ it was an awesome team win and everybody contributed tonight.”
On silencing the crowd and scoring at Air Force Haider added that “there’s no better feeling then scoring here and just hearing your bench going crazy.”
He added something applicable for the opener and for the series finale. It has defined most of this team’s season and will be a big part of the series finale against a motivated Falcons group. He said “it’s all about weathering the storm.”
Coach Brian Riley added on the win “ it’s like every weekend there’s six points on the line, it’s important to come up with points on the weekend, our guys created a memory that they’ll always be able to look back on. I thought our leaders did a great job in the locker room after the first period. We did a lot of things good tonight, I know they’re going to come out with a huge push tomorrow and we have to be ready.”
On Daniel Haider’s Hat trick “ it’s something he will be able to tell his kids about one day for sure.”
On Sacco’s first goal “everyone was just so happy.”
“I thought our guys did a good job.”
For tomorrow Riley plans to keep his routine the same, saying “I’ll probably be wearing the same suit tomorrow.” On the officiating he added “ I thought the officials did a good job, they let the guys play, we talked about being a disciplined team.”