Jan. 2, 2014
Army vs. Mercyhurst Game Notes
WEST POINT, N.Y. - HOW TO FOLLOW
Television (FRIDAY ONLY) • Time Warner Cable SportsChannel
Radio • 1340-AM WALL, 1380-AM WEOK (Hudson Valley)
Video Webcast • America One Sports • americaonesports.com (subscription fees apply)
Audio Webcast • Knight Vision • goARMYsports.com (subscription fees apply)
Twitter Updates • @Army_Hockey
Live Statistics • GameTracker • goARMYsports.com
Friday night's game will mark the annual House of Blues game in support of prostate cancer awareness. The first 1,000 fans through the turnstiles will receive a commemorative blue t-shirt, while everyone is encouraged to wear blue in support of the cause. Saturday night will be Scout Knight as area boy scouts will be in attendance.
SETTING THE STAGE
Army returns to the ice for the first time since Dec. 20, 2013, when the Black Knights ring in the New Year with a home weekend series against Atlantic Hockey Association foe Mercyhurst, Jan. 3 and 4, at Tate Rink. Army has posted a 2-2 record over its last four games, while the Lakers enter the weekend tied atop the AHA standings with a 7-1-1 conference mark. Mercyhurst is coming off a pair of losses at Ohio State last weekend.
TATE RINK MILESTONE
Friday night's game will mark the 500th game played in Tate Rink, which has served as the home of Army hockey over the last 28 years. The Black Knights, who moved from historic Smith Rink for the 1985-86 season under legendary head coach Jack Riley, own a 266-186-47 record when playing in the friendly confines of Tate Rink.
LAST TIME OUT: ARMY HANGS TOUGH IN 4-1 LOSS TO NO. 5 PROVIDENCE
Dec. 20, 2013 | Tate Rink
WEST POINT, N.Y. - In the first meeting since a 4-4 tie in January 2000 and the only men's college hockey game played Friday night, No. 5/5 Providence scored a 4-1 road win at Army in a non-conference showdown in front of 1,725 fans at Tate Rink.
Army (3-12-0) hung tough behind junior goaltender Rob Tadazak, who made a season-best 42 saves in a standout effort. Freshman center Kyle Plageman netted his first collegiate goal, accounting for the Black Knights' lone score on the night in the third period.
The second top 10 team Army has faced during non-conference play this season, Providence (12-2-3) used three third-period goals to break open what had been a one-goal game after two periods.
The Friars held a 46-20 advantage in shots, but a gritty Army effort kept the visitors in check nearly all evening. Four different Providence players scored goals in the team's 13th victory of the year.
ABOUT THE BLACK KNIGHTS
In the midst of a seven-game homestand, the Black Knights have won two of their last four times on the ice and are playing their first games since Dec. 20 this weekend against league-leading Mercyhurst. In his last time out, sophomore Shane Hearn recorded two goals in a 2-0 win over Canisius on Dec. 7. He has registered at least one point in five of his last six games and leads the team with nine points on four goals and five assists. Rookie C.J. Reuschlein continues to author a standout first collegiate season. The Flint, Mich., native leads the team and all freshmen in the Atlantic Hockey Association statistics with six goals. Sophomore forward Willie Faust (3G, 4A) and rookie center Clint Carlisle (2G, 5A) have each registered seven points on the year.
In goal, junior Rob Tadazak has started all but one game this season. He owns a 4.44 goals-against average and an .873 save percentage. Rookie Parker Gahagen (5.27 GAA, .865 SV%) has appeared in three games and made one start.
While Mercyhurst holds a 29-9-4 lead in an all-time series with Army that dates back to 2000, the Black Knights own a 8-7-2 against the Lakers when playing at home. Army's last win (4-3) over Mercyhurst came on Jan. 10, 2009, at Tate Rink.
Friday night's game marks the second of three games that are slated to air live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel this season. The Black Knights last appeared on the regional network in a 2-0 conference win over Canisius on Dec. 7.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Army and Mercyhurst meet for the 43rd time on Friday night, but for the first time in series history, bragging rights within the Riley family also hangs in the balance. Army head coach Brian Riley's eldest son, Jack, is a freshman on Mercyhurst's hockey team. Injury has shortened Jack's rookie campaign, leaving him unable to play on the ice he grew up playing on at Tate Rink this weekend. Jack carries his grandfather's namesake, as the elder Riley served as Army's head coach from 1951-86 and guided Team USA to the 1960 Olympic gold medal.
PLENTY OF PRACTICE
Army may not have played any games since Dec. 20, but the Black Knights have gotten plenty of practice time in during the interim. Since returning to West Point on Saturday, Dec. 28, Army held two-a-day practices on Sunday and Monday and single practice sessions every day since in advance of this weekend's series. Classes at West Point resume on Tuesday, Jan. 7, allowing for extra preparation time leading up to the Mercyhurst contests.
ABOUT THE LAKERS
Mercyhurst heads into the New Year tied with Bentley atop the Atlantic Hockey Association standings with 15 points. Despite dropping their last two non-conference contests at Ohio State, the Lakers remain 7-1-1 in league games. Mercyhurst's lone AHA loss came at Merrimack on Oct. 19 with its only tie occurring on Dec. 14 opposite Robert Morris.
Mercyhurst brings the league's top offense into this weekend's series (3.70 goal per game), led by junior forward Matthew Zay (11-17-28) and senior forward Daniel O'Donoghue (8-18-26) who rank first and second amongst the AHA's leading scorers. Both also rank in the top 10 for goals scored. Rookie forward Kyle Dutra is tied for third for freshmen scoring with 12 points.
Junior goaltender Jimmy Sarjeant carries a 2.70 goals-against average and .917 save percentage into this weekend's series. His .667 win percentage lands second amongst AHA goaltenders.
THE LAST MEETING: ARMY VS. MERCYHURST
March 9, 2013 | Mercyhurst Ice Center
ERIE, Pa. - Grant Blakey scored twice to lead Mercyhurst to a 5-2 victory and a first-round Atlantic Hockey Association series sweep over Army, Saturday at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Army trailed by a goal in the final period but could get no closer and saw its season come to an end.
The Lakers, the sixth-seed in the AHA Tournament, improved to 16-15-5 after taking two games from Army. Mercyhurst will play a quarterfinal series at third-seeded Holy Cross.
Army, the 11th seed, saw its season come to a close with a 7-22-5 record.
Willie Faust and Joe Kozlak scored Army's goals while Christian Pomarico, Zak Zaremba and John Clark collected assists for the Black Knights.
ARMY-AIR FORCE SOLD OUT
The Saturday night showdown between rivals Army and Air Force on Jan. 11 is officially sold out. The teams open the weekend Atlantic Hockey Association series next Friday night, Jan. 10, and limited tickets remain for that contest.
Fans looking to attend the Friday night contest are highly encouraged to order their tickets soon and use the print-at-home feature.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.goARMYsports.com/tickets, in person at the Army Ticket Office or by calling 1-877-TIX-ARMY.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
With an average age of 21 years old, Army is the youngest hockey team in the Atlantic Hockey Association. By class, the Black Knights are the second-youngest team in the country with a combined 21 freshmen and sophomores. Only Penn State has more with 22 underclassmen.
KEEP UP WITH THE BLACK KNIGHTS
Do you keep tabs on everything Army hockey? If not, be sure to follow the team on Twitter @Army_Hockey and like Army Hockey at West Point on Facebook for exclusive content and up-to-date news. Fans are also highly encouraged to check out Knight Vision for free hockey video features and more at www.goARMYsports.com.
Army continues to face the upper echelon of the Atlantic Hockey standings when it hosts service-academy rival Air Force next weekend, Jan. 10 and 11, at Tate Rink. Along with bragging rights, the coveted silver "star" will be on the line Friday night as the winner will be awarded a star to affix to the players' varsity letters.
Next Friday night's game features a 6 p.m. faceoff and will air live on CBS Sports Network, while Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will carry Saturday night's game live at 7:05 p.m.
Fans can also watch the games online via America ONE Sports or listen to the Army call on Knight Vision. Subscription fees apply for both online offerings. For those fans living in the Hudson Valley, the game will be aired live on 1340 WALL and 1380 WEOK. Scoring updates will be available on Twitter by following @Army_Hockey.
America ONE will again provide video and audio where available of every Atlantic Hockey Association game.
America ONE is the official multimedia provider of the AHA and carries all games home and away. Subscriptions can be purchased monthly or annually. To access games, visit americaonesports.com.