Feb. 22, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army hockey team came up on the short end of a 3-1 decision against visiting Connecticut in the second game of an Atlantic Hockey Association home-and-home series Saturday night at a sold-out Tate Rink. Three of the game's four goals, including the Black Knights' lone tally and a Huskies empty netter, came in a busy final 20 minutes of action.
Army (4-25-0, 4-21-0 AHA) defeated the Huskies 4-3 in Friday night's contest in Storrs, Conn. UConn (17-11-4, 14-8-3) entered the weekend tied for fourth place in the conference standings.
"I was pleased with both efforts this weekend," said Army head coach Brian Riley at the conclusion of Saturday night's game. "We obviously came up on the short end of things tonight, but I'm happy with the way we're playing right now. It's our goal to be playing our best hockey come playoff time, and I see us on that track."
Making his third-straight start in goal, freshman Parker Gahagen made 27 saves, including 12 in the final period. He surrendered just two goals, matching a career-low for the Buffalo, N.Y., native.
Sophomore center Josh Roberts netted the Black Knights' lone goal of the evening and the second of his career. Senior captain Brian Schultz and junior alternate captain Mac Lalor assisted on the third-period tally.
UConn held a 30-28 advantage in shots and scored the game's lone power play goal. The Huskies went 1-of-5 on the PP and killed all three of Army's chances.
Three different Huskies scored goals in Sean Gaffney, Brent Norris and Patrick Kirkland. Robby Nichols got the win in goal and made 27 saves in the process.
For the second night in a row, UConn drew first blood on Gaffney's goal just 3:40 into the action. Despite the teams combining for four power plays over the final 15 minutes of the first, the score remained 1-0 in favor of the Huskies at the first intermission.
The second period proved to be written from a similar script, as neither team scored on a number of opportunities and UConn maintained its 1-0 edge. The Huskies, however, began a five-minute power play with 2:40 remaining in the second. Gahagen made eight second-period saves but the Black Knights still opened the third a man down due to the carryover penalty.
Army killed the remaining 2:20 of the power play to open the final stanza, marking the second night in a row the Black Knights successfully killed off a five-minute major. The Huskies tallied their second goal of the night a minute later, as Norris made it 2-0 3:34 into the third.
Riley later pulled Gahagen with 1:40 remaining in regulation and it paid off in a hurry as Roberts' goal inched Army within 2-1 at the 18:28 mark. The Black Knights played for the tie with Gahagen remaining out of the net, but the Huskies put the game away on Kirkland's empty-net score with two seconds left.
Army closes out the regular-season with a home-and-home series with Holy Cross next weekend. The Black Knights visit the Crusaders next Friday and play host for Senior Knight on Saturday at Tate Rink. Both games are slated for a 7:05 p.m. start. Fans can watch both Atlantic Hockey showdowns live online via www.americaonesports.com (subscription fees apply). Live statistics can be found on the hockey schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com, and scoring updates will be available through the team's official Twitter handle @Army_Hockey.
Game Notes: Joining Parker Gahagen in the starting lineup was top line Andrew O'Leary, Shane Hearn and Zak Zaremba, along with Christian Pomarico and Mac Lalor on defense ... UConn took won the regular-season series with Army, 2-1 ... the Black Knights donned their gray sweaters ... Joe Kozlak saw his six-game point-scoring streak end ...Tate Rink sold out for a fourth time this season ... Army held its final Skate With The Black Knights event following the contest.
CONNECTICUT 3, ARMY 1
UCONN 1-0-2 - 3
ARMY 0-0-1 - 1
UCONN - Gaffney (Sims, Segalla), 3:40
UCONN - Norris (Latta, Harris), 3:34 EX
ARMY - Roberts (Lalor, Schultz), 18:28 EX
UCONN - Kirkland (Harris), 19:58, EN
Shots: UConn 30 (8-8-14); Army 28 (7-10-11)
Saves: UConn 27 (Nichols, 58:48, 7-10-10; empty net, 0:12); Army 27 (Gahagen, 58:20, 7-8-12; empty net, 1:40)
Power Plays: UConn, 1-5; Army, 0-3
Penalties: Army, 5-13; UConn, 3-6
Attendance: 2,644 (sellout)