Nov. 12, 2013
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Junior Maurice Alvarez recorded his first career hat trick and four different players scored goals as the Black Knights powered past Sacred Heart, 6-2, to earn the team’s first win of the season in an Atlantic Hockey Association contest Tuesday night at Webster Bank Arena.
Sacred Heart (2-7-0, 1-3-0 AHA) took an early 2-0 lead, but the Black Knights closed the game with six unanswered goals, including three on the power play.
“The guys showed a tremendous amount of poise and character out there tonight,” said 10th-year head coach Brian Riley. “Even after getting down 2-0 early, they worked hard and knew if they hung in there, good things were going to happen and they did. I’m so proud of the way they bounced back after Sunday’s (11-0 loss at Boston College) game as well. That’s not an easy thing to do, but tonight’s performance was exactly what we needed.”
Alvarez recorded the program’s first hat trick of the season en route to his second career multi-point game. Rookie Clint Carlisle recorded his first collegiate goal in the second period, while junior Zak Zaremba and Joe Kozlak netted their first goals of the season in the second and third, respectively. Ten different Army players earned assists to include Kozlak, Carlisle, Thane Heller (two), Josh Richards, Mac Lalor, Josh Roberts, Shane Hearn, Joe Bruckler, C.J. Reuschlein and Christian Pomarico.
“We got a big game out of Mo (Maurice Alvarez) tonight,” Riley added. “He was a real difference-maker for us and solid on both ends of the ice. He’s been one of our most consistent guys and gives us a big, strong presence out there.”
Army (1-6-0, 1-3-0) outshot the Pioneers 37-26 and went 3-of-5 on the power play.
While the Black Knights’ offense carried them to victory, junior goaltender Rob Tadazak made 24 saves in his first win of the season.
Aggressive out of the gate, the Black Knights outshot the Pioneers 7-1 over the opening five minutes but it was Sacred Heart breaking the ice with the first goal 6:18 into the action. Army got its first power play chance mere seconds later, but Sacred Heart came up with one of its two penalty kills of the game to preserve the lead.
Conversely, the Pioneers cashed in on their first extra-man opportunity as Brian Sheehan’s goal at 10:16 gave Sacred Heart a 2-0 lead midway through the first period. The teams proceeded to play through eight scoreless minutes before Army cut the deficit in half on Alvarez’s first goal of the night with 1:50 remaining in the period. The junior got help on assists from Richards and Heller as the pair tallied their first points of the season on the set-up. The 2-1 score stood at the first intermission.
A big second period for the Black Knights turned the tide. Army opened it with a golden 5-on-3 chance as the Pioneers were whistled for a pair of early penalties. The Black Knights made Sacred Heart pay with back-to-back goals in a span of 58 seconds to take a 3-2 lead less than three minutes into the middle frame. Carlisle scored his first collegiate goal during Army’s two-man advantage 1:58 into the period, while Alvarez followed with his second of the night at the 2:56 mark.
The Black Knights’ lead grew to 4-2 with under five minutes to play in the second as in transition, Zaremba went top shelf for his first goal of the season. Bruckler and Roberts both tallied their first points of the year on the assists. Army led 4-2 at the second intermission.
The scoring barrage continued into the third period thanks to Kozlak’s first goal of the season. Heller and Carlisle assisted on the power play tally 6:39 into the frame. Alvarez put the exclamation point on the victory with his third goal of the game on an empty Sacred Heart net with 3:43 to play.
Sheehan and Justin Danforth scored for Sacred Heart.
Conference play continues as Army visits preseason favorite Niagara for a weekend series at Dwyer Arena. Face-off for both Friday and Saturday games will be at 7:05 p.m. in Western New York. The Purple Eagles enter Friday’s tilt looking to snap a four-game losing streak and improve upon their 1-6-1 start to the year. Niagara is 1-1-1 in conference games.
Fans can watch next weekend’s games live via America ONE Sports or listen to the Army call online at goARMYsports.com or via 1340 WALL and 1380 WEOK radio in the Hudson Valley. Friday night’s game will be carried locally in Buffalo, N.Y., on Lockport Community Television.
Game Notes: Army and Sacred Heart met for the 50th time Tuesday night … the all-time series is now tied, 22-22-6 … Army’s six goals are the most the team has scored since a 7-2 win at Holy Cross on Oct. 27, 2012 … the Black Knights donned their road black sweaters for the second game in a row … Maurice Alvarez’s hat trick is the first by an Army player since Andy Starczewski ’13 totaled three goals against Sacred Heart on Oct. 19, 2012 … Alvarez’s last multi-point game also came against Sacred Heart on Nov. 11, 2011 … senior captain Brian Schultz, sophomores Shane Hearn, Andrew O’Leary and Christian Pomarico, along with Garret Peterson made starts Tuesday night … junior Rob Tadazak made his seventh start in goal … Webster Bank Arena is the everyday home of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.
ARMY 6, SACRED HEART 2
ARMY 1-3-2 – 6
SHU 2-0-0 – 2
SHU – Danforth (Minello, Jasper), 6:18
SHU – Sheehan (Minello, Nylen), 10:16 PP
ARMY – Alvarez (Richards, Heller), 18:10
ARMY – Carlisle (Kozlak, Lalor), 1:58 PP
ARMY – Alvarez (Hearn, Reuschlein), 2:56 PP
ARMY – Zaremba (Roberts, Bruckler), 14:55
ARMY – Kozlak (Heller, Carlisle), 6:39 PP
ARMY – Alvarez (Pomarico), 16:17 EN
Shots: Army 37 (14-14-9); Sacred Heart 26 (8-7-11)
Saves: Sacred Heart 31 (Vazzano, 58:05, 13-11-7; empty net, 1:55); Army 24 (Tadazak, 60:00, 6-7-11)
Power Plays: Army, 3-5; Sacred Heart 1-4
Penalties: Sacred Heart, 6-23; Army, 4-8