Photo Credit: Army West Point Athletics Communications
Army West Point Head Coach Brian Riley had some thoughts on the season opener for the Black Knights.
He said “There was a lot more good than bad. We have things to work on but there were some young guys, plebes and yearlings, who got quality ice time tonight. I loved our effort, I loved how we competed for sixty-plus minutes. For special teams, our PK came up huge in a big moment of the game with the five-minute major, where the game could’ve gotten away from us. And then our power play, although it doesn’t show a power play goal, really that second goal was like a power play goal. A lot of good things, now we’ve got to get ready to get back into league play where points are on the line.”
The Black Knights fought a new Union team that came back against RIT yesterday in their rink and beat them. The Dutchmen have a line lead by AIC transfer Chris Theodore and they did not disappoint. Throughout the night they made Army work for everything they had.
Gavin Abric picked up where he left off with 21 saves in the effort. Plebe defender Sean Vlasich put home his first assist as Joey Baez got the goal from the high value area in front of the next.
For next week against RIT, the Black Knights need to stay out of the box. They handled being down a defender with Noah Wilson getting a five minute major and game misconduct. They need to stay within themselves against the very aggressive Tigers. Plebes like Lucas Kanta will need to keep their game up. Kanta should fare well against the Tigers as he plays bigger than his already big frame. Max Itagaki did everything but score today and should have more chances against an RIT team that will have their building rocking for the Atlantic Hockey Conference opening inter conference series. Finally, this group will get its first test in the loudest environment in this conference. How they come together now will tell us a lot about the type of team they will be going forward. They will be facing Tommy Scarfone, arguably the most Athletic net-minder in the conference, and one that is near impossible to score on in bunches at his home rink. The challenge, and opportunity are there.
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