Army Takes Down RMC, 5-2, To Win Challenge Cup

Maurice Alvarez

Maurice Alvarez

Jan. 25, 2014

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KINGSTON, Ont. – Making its first visit to Canada since 2006, the Army hockey team got a pair of goals out of junior Maurice Alvarez and collected a 5-2 victory over Royal Military College to capture the Challenge Cup for the third-straight year as the rivals clashed in an exhibition contest Saturday night at the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ont.

While Alvarez provided highlights with a pair of scores, Garret Peterson, Andrew O’Leary and Luke Jenkins also netted goals en route to the Army victory. Collecting assists were Mac Lalor, Willie Faust, C.J. Reuschlein, Joe Kozlak, Kyle Vogel and Zak Zaremba.

The Black Knights fell into an early 1-0 hole and later battled back from a 2-2 tie with a three-goal third period to seal the win. Three of Army's five goals came on the power play.

Army outshot the Paladins all night and finished with a 37-18 advantage in shots on goal. Making his second career start, rookie goaltender Parker Gahagen made 16 saves in his first win of the season. RMC’s Evan Deviller totaled 32 stops for the Paladins.

A physical first period set the tone for the remainder of the game. Despite Army having a 13-5 advantage in shots over the opening 20 minutes, the Paladins scored the lone goal of the period just 18 seconds into the action and carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Black Knights came out of the break looking to erase a one-goal deficit and that they did on a pair of power play goals. Alvarez punched in the equalizer at the 4:12 mark to get Army on the board. Peterson followed with his first career goal, scored on a rebound shot after a Reuschlein miss at 7:44 to give the road team a 2-1 edge.

That advantage lasted just over four minutes, as RMC’s Jake Bullen leveled the score at 2-2 with a power play goal midway through the second period. The teams entered the second intermission tied, 2-2.  

With the puck bouncing around, Alvarez corralled and launched a rocket past Deviller at 9:53 as the Black Knights took a 3-2 lead midway through the third. Costello and Hearn earned assists on the go-ahead score. O’Leary put gave the Black Knights some breathing room, snaring a long pass from Faust on the left side to give the Black Knights a 4-2 lead at 17:36. Jenkins’ empty net goal with 15 seconds remaining in regulation put the exclamation point on an emotional Army victory.

In the midst of a six-game road swing, Army returns to conference play with a weekend series at Robert Morris Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in Moon Township, Pa. Fans can watch the game online via America One Sports, while scoring updates will also be available on Twitter by following @Army_Hockey.

Game Notes: Army holds a 42-29-7 lead in its all-time series against RMC … the historic series dates back to the first meeting in 1923 … the Black Knights donned their road black sweaters and wore “DM” helmet stickers in memory of Maj. Danny McLeod, former RMC athletic director and head hockey coach, who passed away earlier this month at 92 … Maj. McLeod and former Army mentor Jack Riley played integral roles in maintaining the series for several decades … a pregame ceremony to honor Maj. McLeod also included West Point Dean of the Academic Board Brig. Gen. Timothy Trainor … Trainor was among approximately 100 West Point cadets and staff members in attendance Saturday night … Saturday marked Gahagen’s fifth collegiate game played and second career start … the Rogers K-Rock Centre is a 6,700-seat arena and is home to the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League … Army’s last win in Kingston, Ont.,  was also 3-2 victory on Feb. 8, 2003.

ARMY               0-2-3 – 5
RMC                1-1-0 – 2

First Period:
RMC – Louis-Seize (Cook, Pym), 00:18

Second Period:
ARMY – Alvarez (Lalor, Faust), 4:12 PP
ARMY – Peterson (Reuschlein, Kozlak), 7:44 PP
RMC – Bullen (Wright, Pinder), 11:05 PP

Third Period:
ARMY – Alvarez (Costello, Hearn), 9:53
ARMY – O’Leary (Faust, Lalor), 17:36 PP
ARMY – Jenkins (Vogel, Zaremba), 19:45 EN

Shots: Army 37 (13-16-8); RMC 18 (5-8-5)
RMC 32 (Deviller, 59:30, 13-14-5; empty net, 0:30); Army 16 (Gahagen, 60:00, 4-7-5)
Power Plays:
Army, 3-5; RMC, 1-4
RMC, 6-12; Army, 5-10

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