March 9, 2014
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Fresh off its first Atlantic Hockey Association playoff win in six years, 12th-seeded Army came up on the short end of a 3-1 score at No. 5 Robert Morris in the third game of a best-of-three first round series Sunday night at 84 Lumber Arena. The loss ends the Black Knights’ 2013-14 season, while the Colonials move on to face Connecticut in next weekend’s quarterfinals.
Playing three nights in a row for the first time this season, Army (6-28-0) scored its lone goal of the night short-handed thanks to Luke Jenkins’ second career tally. Rookie goaltender Parker Gahagen made 28 saves in the setback.
“I’m proud of the way our team fought,” said Army head coach Brian Riley. “They worked tirelessly all year and may not have always gotten the desired results on the scoreboard. The bottom line is, they never quit and played to win. For that, I’m extremely proud of them all.”
Robert Morris held a 31-26 advantage in shots and went 0-for-1 on the power play. Army went scoreless in two extra-man opportunities. RMU goaltender Terry Shafer started and played the first 23:19 of the game before giving way to Dalton Izyk for the final 36:41. The pair recorded 10 and 15 saves, respectively.
After a scoreless first period of action, Jenkins broke the ice with his second goal of the season, scoring unassisted and short-handed at the 2:30 mark of the second. The 1-0 lead didn’t last long, however, as the Colonials answered with their first goal 2:14 later thanks to Greg Gibson.
Robert Morris took its first lead of the night as David Friedmann deflected the puck past Gahagen with 8:26 remaining in the middle frame. RMU’s 2-1 advantage stood at the second intermission.
The Colonials’ lead grew to 3-1 on Andrew Blazek’s goal 5:43 into the third period, establishing a two-goal deficit from which the Black Knights would not recover.
Army graduates senior captain Brian Schultz, who netted a career-high two goals in last night’s 4-2 victory, but returns its top five scorers from 2013-14 campaign. Included in that group is C.J. Reuschlein (22 points), Joe Kozlak (20), Clint Carlisle (17), Maurice Alvarez (15) and Shane Hearn (14). Junior alternate captains Mac Lalor and Josh Richards also return for their final campaign along the banks of the Hudson.
Fans are encouraged to follow @Army_Hockey on Twitter throughout the off season for exclusive news and team updates.
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 registered 20 blocks and 36 face-off wins … before Saturday night’s victory, Army’s last playoff win came on March 8, 2008, over American International in an AHA quarterfinal series at West Point … Luke Jenkins’ goal marked the Black Knights’ second short-handed goal of the season … in his first collegiate playoff series, freshman goaltender Parker Gahagen combined for 78 saves in three games … head coach Brian Riley wrapped up his 10th season at the helm.
ROBERT MORRIS 3, ARMY 1
#12 ARMY 0-1-0 – 1
#5 RMU 0-2-1 – 3
ARMY – Jenkins, 2:30 SH
RMU – Gibson (Cope), 4:44
RMU – Friedmann (Golightly, Renwick), 11:34
RMU – Blazek (Lynch), 5:42
Shots: Robert Morris 31 (6-19-6); Army 26 (9-7-10)
Saves: Army 28 (Gahagen, 57:47, 6-17-5; empty net, 2:13); Robert Morris 25 (Shafer, 23:19, 9-1-0; Izyk, 36:41, 0-5-10)
Power Plays: Army, 0-2; Robert Morris, 0-1
Penalties: Army, 3-6; Robert Morris, 4-8