March 8, 2014
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Senior captain Brian Schultz scored twice as 12th-seeded Army forced game three with a 4-2 victory over No. 5 Robert Morris in the second game of a best-of-three Atlantic Hockey Association playoff series at 84 Lumber Arena Saturday night. The winner of tomorrow night's 7:05 p.m. first-round contest will advance to the AHA quarterfinals next weekend.
For Army (6-27-0), Saturday marked the team's sixth win of the year, fifth on the road and first playoff victory since 2007-08.
"I couldn't be more proud of a team than I am right now," said 10th-year Army head coach Brian Riley following the win. "I've said all along we wanted to be playing our best hockey in March, and I truly believe we are. Tonight was a direct indication of those efforts. I'm thrilled for our guys and know they're excited to get back on the ice tomorrow night."
Schultz's two goals set a career-high as he registered his third career multiple-point game. Defensemen Maurice Alvarez and Jonathan Gehrt also scored for the Black Knights. Rookie C.J. Reuschlein and sophomores Shane Hearn and Christian Pomarico each registered a pair of assists in the victory.
Army freshman goaltender Parker Gahagen tallied 34 saves and picked up his first career playoff win. Robert Morris' Terry Shafer made 26 stops in the loss.
Robert Morris (14-17-5) held a 36-30 advantage in shots on goal. The teams combined for 64 penalty minutes on the night, which included major infractions for both clubs. Army went 2-of-11 on the power play, while the Colonials were 1-of-7.
Army struck early in each of the first two periods. Schultz put the Black Knights on the board just 1:05 into the contest. The Aurora, Ohio, native's goal would be the only score for either team in the opening 20 minutes.
Thanks to a Robert Morris penalty that carried over into the second period, Gehrt's first goal of the season and fourth of his career stretched the Black Knights' lead to 2-0 just 1:27 into the action. The offense continued to click on all cylinders, as Schultz found the net for a second time at the 4:38 mark to stretch Army's lead to 3-0.
The Colonials retaliated as Scott Jacklin scored the first of his two goals on the night at 9:51 of the second. Sitting on a 3-1 lead, the Black Knights went back up by three as Alvarez's slapper beat Shafer. The Cleveland, Ohio, native's 12th goal of the year came just seconds into the Black Knights' sixth power play chance of the night.
Robert Morris went on to take advantage of a five-minute major penalty against Army, as Jacklin's goal with 47 seconds remaining in the period cut the deficit in half. The penalty would carry over into the third, but the Black Knights held a 4-2 lead at the second intermission.
An early RMU penalty negated the extended power play chance with a five-minute major of its own just 50 seconds into the third period. The officials stayed busy for the remainder of the game, but neither team found the back of the net over the final 20 minutes.
The best-of-three series concludes tomorrow night, March 9, at 7:05 p.m. Fans can watch the game from 84 Lumber Arena live online via www.americaone.com. Fans also have the option of listing to the Army call via Knight Vision (www.goARMYsports.com) or on the radio (1390 WEOK-AM and1340 WALL-AM - Hudson Valley; 92.5 WBLR-FM - Watertown, N.Y.). Scoring updates will be provided through @Army_Hockey on Twitter.
Game Notes: Joining Parker Gahagen in the starting lineup was top line Andrew O'Leary, Josh Roberts and Zak Zaremba, along with Ryan Nick and Mac Lalor on defense ... Army and Robert Morris met for the first time in an AHA playoff series this weekend ... the Black Knights donned their road black sweaters ... Army's last playoff win came on March 8, 2008, over American International in an AHA quarterfinal series at West Point.
ARMY 4, ROBERT MORRIS 2
#12 ARMY 1-3-0 - 4
#5 RMU 0-2-0 - 2
ARMY - Schultz (Pomarico, Hearn), 1:05
ARMY - Gehrt (Kozlak, Reuschlein), 1:27 PP
ARMY - Schultz (Nick, Hearn), 4:38
RMU - Jacklin (Wydo, Blazek), 9:51
ARMY - Alvarez (Pomarico, Reuschlein), 14:28 PP
RMU - Jacklin (Lynch, Blazek), 19:13 PP
Shots: Robert Morris 36 (8-18-10); Army 30 (11-9-10)
Saves: Army 34 (Gahagen, 59:11, 8-16-10; empty net, 0:49); Robert Morris 26 (Shafer, 58:06, 10-6-10; empty net, 1:54)
Power Plays: Army, 2-11; Robert Morris, 1-7
Penalties: Army, 8-27; Robert Morris, 13-37