Jan. 8, 2014
Army vs. Air Force Game Notes
WEST POINT, N.Y. - While Army hosts Air Force in a key Atlantic Hockey Association series, the games have a much deeper meaning for both teams. The Black Knights and Falcons play the 60th and 61st installments on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively, of one of the greatest rivalries in all of college hockey.
A rivalry rooted in mutual respect, Air Force holds a 32-22-5 lead in the all-time series, but the Black Knights hold a 13-11-2 advantage when playing in the friendly confines of Tate Rink.
In addition to the aforementioned bragging rights, both teams have the opportunity to earn important points in the AHA standings as the meat of the conference schedule is now underway.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television (Friday) • CBS Sports Network • Eric Frede (play-by-play), Jim Paradise (color analyst), Ryan Cruthers (rink side reporter)
(Saturday) • Time Warner Cable SportsChannel • Lou Brogno (play-by-play), Dan Fridgen (color analyst)
Radio • 1340-AM WALL, 1380-AM WEOK (Hudson Valley), WBLH-FM (Fort Drum, N.Y.)
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
The winner of this weekend's Army-Air Force series will take home the coveted silver "star," which is awarded to any cadet-athlete for a win over Air Force. Wins over rival Navy are represented by a gold star. The stars are typically affixed to a cadet-athletes varsity letter, which is then worn on a jacket as part of one cadet uniform. Senior captain Brian Schultz is the only current Army player with a silver star, having earned on during his rookie campaign in 2010-11. Meanwhile, sophomore Joe Kozlak is the only Army hockey player to sport a gold star for a win over Navy. The Duluth, Minn., native helped the Army golf team to a win over the Midshipmen last fall and will return to the links once hockey concludes this spring.
NEW YEAR, NEW SEMESTER
With the New Year past, it's time for a new semester at most colleges around the country. At West Point, however, it also means new leadership positions, new roommates and new responsibilities. On Monday, cadets took part is what is called "Reorgy Day," which essentially means the reorganization of the Corps of Cadets. Classes resumed on Tuesday.
This Saturday night's showdown between rivals Army and Air Force is sold out, which will mark Tate Rink's first sellout of the season. As of the start of game week, a very limited number of tickets remained for Friday night's contest. Tate Rink seats 2,525 spectators.
ABOUT THE BLACK KNIGHTS
Army closes out a seven-game homestand this weekend against service-academy rival Air Force. The Black Knights are coming off back-to-back 3-1 losses to visiting Mercyhurst last weekend, despite outshooting the Lakers in both contests. All three of Army's wins have come during conference play, as it heads into this weekend's series in search of much-needed points.
Sophomore Shane Hearn leads the team with nine points on four goals and five assists, while C.J. Reuschlein and Clint Carlisle continue to author standout rookie campaigns with eight points apiece. Reuschlein leads Army and all AHA freshmen with six goals on the year, while Carlisle has a trio of goals to go with five assists.
Aside from the aforementioned three forwards, the Black Knights have gotten production from their fourth line as of late. Two of the last three Army goals have come courtesy of the fourth line in Kyle Plageman (vs. Canisius) and Andrew O'Leary (vs. Mercyhurst).
In goal, junior Rob Tadazak has started all but two games this season. He owns a 4.33 goals-against average and an .874 save percentage. Rookie Parker Gahagen (5.27 GAA, .865 SV%) has appeared in three games and made one start, while classmate Tanner Creel started in his collegiate debut last Saturday opposite Mercyhurst. Creel played 44 minutes and turned away ten shots.
Both Army-Air Force games this weekend are set to air live on television, beginning with Friday night's 6 p.m. faceoff on CBS Sports Network. The following night's 7:05 p.m. game will be the second of three games this season carried by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
ABOUT THE FALCONS
Air Force enters this weekend with a 10-6-4 overall record to go with a 5-3-3 Atlantic Hockey Association mark. The Falcons have won three of their last four games, including a pair of non-league wins over nationally ranked Northeastern (5-2) and Providence (3-2) at Dartmouth's Ledyard Bank Classic. Most recently, Air Force split a road series at AIC last weekend and sits tied for fourth place in the AHA standings with 13 points.
Air Force ranks third in the AHA in both scoring offense (2.90 goals per game) and scoring defense (2.80). Junior forwards Chad Demers and Cole Gunner lead the team and are tied for sixth in the league with 22 points and rank in the top five for assists.
Senior goaltender Jason Torf carries a 2.59 goals-against average and .914 save percentage into this weekend's series. His .611 win percentage lands third amongst AHA goaltenders.
THE LAST MEETING: ARMY VS. AIR FORCE
Jan. 12, 2013 | Cadet Ice Arena USAFA, Colo. - Three different players scored goals as Army skated to a 3-3 overtime with Air Force, Saturday in an Atlantic Hockey Association contest at Cadet Ice Arena.
Thane Heller, Andrew O'Leary and Zak Zaremba netted goals for the Black Knights who moved to 7-10-3 on the season and 7-5-3 in league games.
Rob Tadazakmade 42 saves for Army, which rebounded from a 4-1 loss on Friday night. Air Force goalie Jason Torf turned away 27 shots for the Falcons who are now 7-9-5 overall and 5-5-3 in league play.
Josh Richards, R.J. Burns, Maurice Alvarez, Shane Hearn and Josh Roberts all collected assists for Army.
RISE OF THE ROOKIES
Atlantic Hockey's youngest team, Army features a combined 21 freshmen and sophomores on its roster. Of the nine true freshmen on the team, two have risen to the top as forwards C.J. Reuschlein and Clint Carlisle have made up two-thirds of the Black Knights' top line for the majority of the season. The duo has been joined at different times by sophomores Joe Kozlak and Willie Faust. Carlisle has played on Army's top line in every game, while Reuschlein, leads the league's rookies with a team-best six goals on the year.
Two of Army's four non-league opponents this season are ranked in the top 10 of both national polls. The Black Knights lost at perennial powerhouse Boston College, which was ranked eighth in both polls at the time of the Nov. 10 game. The Black Knights welcomed then-No. 5/5 Providence to Tate Rink on Dec. 20 in their final game of 2013.
LEADERS AMONG LEADERS
The only active senior on this year's roster, forward Brian Schultz serves as the Black Knights' captain during the 2013-14 season. Juniors Mac Lalor and Josh Richards share alternate captain duties.
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.
After enjoying a seven-game homestand, the Black Knights hit the road for their next six games beginning with a trip to Rochester, N.Y., to face AHA foe RIT next weekend.
Fans can watch the both Army-RIT 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.