WEST POINT, N.Y. - Chris Garceau scored a goal and picked up an assist, and two Black Knights notched their first career goals as Army walked away with a 6-1 victory over Canadian rival Royal Military College in front of a sold out Tate Rink crowd of 2,865 raucus fans on Saturday night.
The win increases Army's advantage in, "the oldest continuous international rivalry in sports," to 39-29-6 overall and 25-12-1 at West Point. It marked the ninth straight win for the Black Knights inside the iron gates of the U.S. Military Academy and their third consecutive triumph overall in the 74-year history of the international rivalry.
Army is now 14-2-2 against the Paladins in the last 18 games in the series.
Army (7-15-2) potted three goals in the middle frame, all on the power play, to take a commanding 4-1 lead into the final period. After freshman Bryce Hollweg scored his first career goal with 1:38 remaining in the opening stanza, it was Chase Podsiad stuffing home a rebound from the doorstep at 4:55 of the second.
The Paladins (8-16-1) cut the deficit in half on the power play as well at 6:21 when Dion Lahoda put the visitors on the board. However, David Andros collected his sixth goal of the season just over one minute later to restore the hosts' two-goal cushion. Garceau picked up his fourth tally of the season at 10:47 to stake Army to a three-goal lead heading into the final 20 minutes of play.
The Black Knights were 3-for-13 with the man advantage Saturday night. The Paladins finished 1-for-7.
Jeff Fearing buried his first career goal 4:46 into the third period and Chris Bilec picked up his second marker of the season at 9:03 to round out the scoring.
Garceau assisted on Fearing's tally, finishing the night with two points. The Guilford, Conn., native ends his career against RMC with eight points in four games, tying him for fifth all-time at the Academy in career points in the Army-RMC series.
Bilec, Hollweg and Andros each finished with one goal and one assist on the evening as well.
Army goalie Brad Roberts improved to 3-0 lifetime against RMC, joining the elite company of Dan Scioletti (USMA '71) as the only two netminders ever to win all three meetings against the Paladins. Roberts made 12 saves on the night and has allowed only three goals in his three games opposite RMC.
Blair Robertson made 32 saves for the Paladins, who were outshot 38-13 on the evening.
The Black Knights held Tyler Middlebrook, Canada's fifth-leading collegiate scorer, to just one shot on goal in the contest. He assisted on Lahoda's power play tally in the second period to finish with one point.
With the win, Army head coach Brian Riley joins his father, legendary head coach Jack Riley, and Len Patton as the only coaches to win their first encounter with RMC. Riley extends the family's overall record to 36-14-5. His father, Jack, rattled out a 22-11-3 mark opposite the Paladins, and his older brother Rob, punished the Redmen to the tune of 13-3-2 in his 18 years.
Rob Riley made his first appearance back at West Point's Tate Rink since stepping down from the head coaching job this past summer. Riley received a few gifts from both academies in a brief ceremony at the beginning of the contest in recognition of his 18 years of service to the rivalry.
Army's seniors depart the Academy 3-1 against their Canadian rivals, while the juniors wait for their opportunity to make it a clean sweep (4-0) next winter in Kingston, Ontario.
The often-heated affair did not go off without its customary skirmishes. Both sides were whistled for a total of 32 penalty in minutes at the 5:18 mark of the second period when the two sides came together behind the RMC goal. In all, the Paladins were assessed 56 penalty minutes on 20 altercations, while Army was hit with 36 minutes of penalties on 14 infractions.
The win was also the 995th career triumph in Army hockey's storied history, leaving the Black Knights five shy of becoming the 11th team in the NCAA to reach 1,000 career wins.