Nov. 14, 2012
Army Hockey Game Notes
The Army hockey team will host Sacred Heart in an Atlantic Hockey Association game on Friday at Tate Rink and then travel to Brown for a non-conference matchup on Saturday.
The Black Knights enter the weekend 2-5-1 overall and 2-2-1 in AHA contests. Sacred Heart is 0-8-1 overall and 0-6-1 in league games and will host AIC on Saturday. Brown, a member of ECAC Hockey, is 1-3-2 overall and 0-2-2 in conference games.
MISSING A SCHOLAR
Army senior defenseman Cheyne Rocha will be scratched from the lineup this weekend but not because of an injury.
An Engineering Management major, Rocha is a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship and has his interview for the prestigious award this weekend in New York City.
In early October, Rocha submitted a one-page curriculum vitae, a 1,000-word personal statement and nine letters of recommendation. He found out last week he was invited for a personal interview. Following a cocktail party on Friday, the interview will be Saturday. Two Rhodes Scholars from each district will then be selected.
Fans will have the opportunity to donate a new or gently used stuffed animal at the Army vs. Sacred Heart hockey game on Nov. 16 at Tate Rink.
Between the first and second periods, fans will be allowed to throw their donated bears onto the ice. The animal closest to center ice will win a bobblehead of legendary coach Jack Riley. All of the stuffed animals will be gathered and donated to Toys For Tots.
The Army Athletic Association will honor former hockey player, Officer Representative and athletic department supporter Major Tom Kennedy during the Dec. 1 hockey game vs. American International. Face-off at Tate Rink is set for 7:05 p.m.
Kennedy, a 2000 U.S. Military Academy graduate, was killed in action in Afghanistan in August of this year.
A letterman on the hockey team, Kennedy returned to West Point and served as a Tactical Officer where he impacted the lives of thousands of cadets. In addition to his work with all of the cadets, Kennedy was an Officer Representative with the hockey program and was elected president of the Army Hockey Parents Association. He was deployed out of Fort Carson, Colo., following his term at West Point.
The Army hockey team is wearing "TK" stickers on its helmets and there are two spots on the ice with his initials and an American flag.
Prior to the game, members of Kennedy's family will be honored on the ice and then participate in a ceremonial puck drops. All fans at the game will receive the same sticker the players wear.
The Last Meeting
October 20, 2012
Army Skates To Tie With Sacred Heart
Four different players scored goals as Army skated to a 4-4 overtime tie with Sacred Heart, Saturday in an Atlantic Hockey Association contest at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
100 FOR COACH RILEY
Army head coach Brian Riley posted his 100th career victory in a 7-2 win at Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., on Oct. 27.
Riley, now in his ninth season as head coach, is the third member of his family to eclipse the century mark for career victories.
Brian's father, Jack, won 542 games in his 36 seasons as head coach while brother Rob posted 257 victories during his 18 seasons.
SKATE WITH US
The popular "Skate With The Black Knights," will return for the third consecutive season. Postgame skates are scheduled for Nov. 16, Jan. 19, Feb. 8 and Feb. 23.
Fans must bring their own skates and store them under their seats during the game.
Selected Army players will join fans for a 20-minute skating session following the contest with plenty of photograph and autograph opportunities.
Army hockey head coach is a 1983 graduate of Brown and will return to his alma mater on Saturday.
Riley was a co-captain his senior season and earned All-Ivy League honorable mention accolades. He was presented with the Class of 1936 Trophy for his outstanding contributions over his four-year career and the Patrick Jones Trophy for most team spirit.
ABOUT THE BLACK KNIGHTS
Army suffered its first two league losses of the season last weekend against Niagara falling 5-0 and 4-1.
Andy Starczewski continues to lead the team in goals (four), assists (seven) and points (11), while Joe Kozlak has two goals and four assists. Thane Heller has three goals and a pair of assists while Zak Zaremba has three assists and two goals.
Army has utilized two goalies this season. Rob Tadazak is 1-3-1 with a 3.56 goals against average and .890 save percentage, while Ryan Leets is 1-2-0 with a 4.40 goals against average and .899 save percentage.
The Black Knights are averaging 2.6 goals per game, while allowing 3.9. They have scored eight power play goals in 33 chances while allowing opponents seven goals in 30 opportunities.
ABOUT THE PIONEERS
Sacred Heart is searching for its first win of the season after opening with an 0-8-1 mark.
The Pioneers are averaging 2.11 goals per game while allowing 5.22.
Eric Delong and Brian Sheehan share the team points lead with seven on three goals and four assists. Drew George has three goals and three assists while Nick Curry has three assists and two goals.
Steven Legatto has played in six games in goal with an .877 save percentage and 4.51 goals against average while Andrew Bodnarchuk has a .865 save percentage and 5.68 goals against average.
ABOUT THE BEARS
Brown opened the season with a 2-1 victory over Princeton but has lost or tied its last five games, against Dartmouth (4-0), Harvard (3-2), Dartmouth (2-1), St. Lawrence 3-3) and Clarkson (3-3).
The Bears are averaging 1.8 goals per game and allowing 2.8. They have scored two power play goals in 26 chances while allowing opponents three in 22 opportunities.
Matt Lorito leads the team with three goals and four points, while Nick Lappin has two goals and assists. Dennis Robertson has a team-best three assists.
Marco DeFilippo has seen the bulk of work in goal with a 1-3-1 mark. He has a 2.67 goals against average and .921 save percentage.
AROUND THE AHA
Niagara is now unbeaten in its last seven games and leads the standings with a 5-0-0 conference mark. The Purples Eagles are 6-2-3 overall. Holy Cross at 5-2-0 shares the top spot with Niagara.
Mercyhurst (3-1-1) and Robert Morris (3-20-0) are tied for third with six points, followed by Army (2-2-1) and Air Force (2-1-1).
ARMY vs. SACRED HEART
Friday marks the third and final meeting between Army and Sacred Heart in the 2012-13 season.
A look back at the two previous meetings:
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Andy Starczewski scored three times and Rob Tadazak made 25 saves as Army won its first game of the season, 5-2, over Sacred Heart, Friday night in an Atlantic Hockey Association contest at Tate Rink.
Army jumped out to a 2-0 lead and then closed the game with three goals to win its home-opener.
Zak Zaremba and Brian Schultz also scored for the Black Knights, now 1-2-0 overall and 1-0-0 in league play. Cheyne Rocha, John Clark, Willie Faust, R.J. Burns, Joe Kozlak and Maurice Alvarez all earned assists
Tadazak allowed just two second-period goals and won his first collegiate game. He made eight stops in the first, 13 in the second and four in the final period.
Starczewski netted his second career hat trick and pushed his career total of goals to 31. The five goals is the most Army has scored since netting six on Feb. 18, 2011 against AIC, a span of 39 games.
MILFORD, Conn. - Four different players scored goals as Army skated to a 4-4 overtime tie with Sacred Heart, Saturday in an Atlantic Hockey Association contest at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
Army fought back from three deficits and netted the tying goal with 33 seconds left to move to 1-2-1 overall and 1-0-1 on the season. Sacred Heart is 0-3-1, 0-2-1.
Josh Richards, Willie Faust, Andy Starczewski and Joe Kozlak scored goals for Army while Luke Jenkins collected a pair of assists. Maurice Alvarez, Jonathan Gehrt, Thane Heller, Kozlak, Faust and Starczewski all registered assists.
Army goalie Rob Tadazak made 25 saves to earn the tie.
Seniors Ryan Leets and Cheyne Rocha were honored on the ice prior to the Penn State game on Oct. 26 for their excellence in the classroom last season.
Both Leets and Rocha posted a 4.0 grade-point average and were tabbed as Student Athletes of the Year by the Atlantic Hockey Association.
League commissioner Bob DeGregorio, head Officer Representative Col. Ed Naessens, Army hockey head coach Brian Riley and Executive Athletic Director Bob Beretta were on hand to present the awards.
Leets, from Kentwood, Mich., earned a 4.04 grade-point average as a Civil Engineering major. Rocha, an Engineering Management major from Rye, N.H., registered a 4.17 GPA.
Leets and Rocha were among the 18 Army hockey players named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team last season.
ICE BREAKER OPEN
Army began its season at the Ice Breaker Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.
The Black Knights fell to Nebraska-Omaha 5-1 and #20 Maine overcame a pair of deficits in a 4-3 win in the consolation game.
Notre Dame beat Nebraska-Omaha, 3-2, to win the title.
Army's season-opening game with Nebraska-Omaha was shown live to a national audience on NBC Sports Network, marking the first of three national television appearances for the Black Knights. Dave Strader provided play-by-play with Pierre McGuire handling color commentary from inside the benches.
CBS Sports Network announced that the Black Knights' games against Air Force and Robert Morris will be carried live as part of the Atlantic Hockey Association package.
Army's game against Robert Morris at Tate Rink on Jan. 4, 2013, will be shifted to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate the CBS Sports Network broadcast, while the Jan. 12 contest at Air Force will be moved to 6 p.m. Eastern as Army continues its long tradition of playing on national television. Last season, CBS Sports Network carried the Air Force at Army game from Tate Rink.
This marks the 10th consecutive season Army has had a game on national television.
Army senior Andy Starczewski and freshman Joe Kozlak picked up a pair of awards as the Atlantic Hockey Association announced its monthly award winners.
Starczewski was named the Player of the Month and Kozlak the Rookie of the Month as October competitions concluded. Carsen Chubak of Niagara was the Goaltender of the Month.
Starczewski totaled four goals and six assists in his first six games of the season. He scored a hat trick against Sacred Heart and handed out three assists at Holy Cross to help Army to a 2-3-1 overall record and 2-0-1 conference mark.
Kozlak collected six points in the first six games of the season and earned his first league citation as the Rookie of the Month. He has two goals and four assists on the year, including the game-winning goal in the road victory at Holy Cross.
For the second consecutive year, the Army men's hockey team earned the Leader-Athlete Award from West Point for having the highest cadet performance score among the male NCAA-sponsored sports.
Cadet performance scores include academic, military and physical development. The Army Athletic Association annually distributes an award to the teams who achieve the highest score. The cross country team paced the females.
Senior goalie and alternate captain Ryan Leets led the hockey squad and was named a Leader-Athlete.
HOUSE OF BLUES
The Army hockey team will continue to raise prostate cancer awareness with a "House of Blues" celebration on Jan. 5 against Robert Morris. This will mark the second season of the campaign.
Last year, T-shirts and bracelets were distributed to fans, Army donned special blue sweaters and Army Athletic Association employee and prostate cancer survivor Chris Perry dropped the first puck. The American Cancer Society was on hand for the event as well.
"I'm proud of the players for wanting to get involved and wanting to help the community," said Army hockey head coach Brian Riley. "This is a way they could give back. The hockey community has done a great job of raising awareness for this terrible disease and it says a lot about the caliber of players we have that they volunteer their time to support this cause."
For four-straight seasons Army has a non-conference win among its list of accolades.
Army posted a 3-2 victory over Rensselaer in the consolation game of the Toyota UConn Classic at the Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Conn., on Dec. 30, 2011.
Brian Schultz scored the game-winning goal with 93 seconds left to lift the Black Knights past ECAC rival RPI.
Two years ago, Army beat Hockey East's Massachusetts 5-2 in Amherst, Mass., on Nov. 5 and dispatched Rensselaer, 2-1, on Nov. 31, 2009, in Troy, N.Y.
Those wins came on the heels of a 3-2 victory over No. 2 Miami of the CCHA at the Ohio State Tournament on Jan. 3, 2009.
The Army hockey team will continue its tradition of playing the Long Island RoughRiders sled hockey team. This year's exhibition is slated for Feb. 16 against Bentley.
After the game, Army will trade the skates for sleds and compete in a 20-minute exhibition game against the team from Long Island.
Sled hockey is played mainly by people with various lower extremity disabilities in which players are seated on sleds, which are affixed to two hockey skate blades under the seat. The sleds are about three inches off the ice and around three feet long depending on the size of the player. The sled glides on the blades and a metal bar located at the front of the sled.
Players use their arms to propel themselves along the ice and dig picks, on the ends of two short hockey sticks, into the ice to pull themselves forward. Players have a right and a left stick (the blades are curved differently) that are miniature copies of a typical hockey stick, except for the metal picks (like figure skate toe picks) on the ends. Players shoot, pass, and propel themselves with the sticks.
This marks the sixth year Army has played Long Island.
Ryan Leets and Cheyne Rocha were among the 18 hockey players honored as the Atlantic Hockey Association distributed its academic awards over the summer.
Leets, a goalie and Rocha, a defenseman, were tabbed as Student-Athletes of the Year by posting at least a 4.0 grade-point average. Leets became the first player in league history to be named a Student-Athlete of the Year three times.
Leets and Rocha were among the 14 student-athletes with a GPA of 4.0 or higher and the two were included in the 179 league players who posted at least a 3.0 in both semesters of competition and a GPA of 3.0 during the 2011-12 season.
Joining Leets and Rocha on the All-Academic Team were Marcel Alvarez, Jack Barnes, Jon Bobb, John Clark, Danny Colvin, Mark Dube, Mike Hull, Cody Ikkala, Bret Larson, Kyle Maggard, Alex McRae, Josh Richards, Pat Ryan, Brian Schultz, Bryant Skarda and Matt Walsh.
Leets, from Kentwood, Mich., showed a 4.04 GPA as Civil Engineering major during his junior season. Rocha, an Engineering Management major from Rye, N.H., registered a 4.17 GPA during his junior season.
CLASS OF 2016
Getting accepted to West Point is a challenge in itself. A look at the Class of 2016 shows that 15,170 candidates applied, 4,284 were nominated, 2,554 qualified and 1,193 were admitted.
Of those admitted, 72% were in the top-five of their high school class, eight percent were valedictorians, 90% played varsity sports, 57% served as team captain and 18% were either class or student body presidents.
Army head coach Brian Riley is now on Twitter. You can follow his tweets @Coach_BRiley.
Two Army players have changed numbers. Sophomore defenseman Maurice Alvarez is now wearing 24 after donning 16 as a freshman. Sophomore forward Josh Richards has opted for 19 after wearing 3 his first season.
TICKETS AT TATE
Army will play 17 games at Tate Rink with dates against Penn State, Royal Military College and the Russian Junior All-Stars as well as Atlantic Hockey Association opponents Sacred Heart, American International, Niagara, Robert Morris, RIT and Connecticut.
Season tickets and single-game tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at goARMYsports.com, by phone at 1-877-TIX-ARMY on in person at the Army Ticket Office.
Senior Andy Starczewski and freshman Willie Faust collected a pair of Atlantic Hockey Association honors for their performances Oct. 19-20. Army beat Sacred Heart 5-2 and tied the Pioneers in overtime the next night, 4-4.
Starczewski registered his second career hat trick and totaled five points in a weekend series with Sacred Heart and earned AHA Travel Team USA Player of the Week accolades.
Faust netted a goal and two assists and picked up AHA Travel Team USA Rookie of the Week honors.
Senior defenseman Cheyne Rocha will serve as the Black Knights' captain during the 2012-13 season.
Seniors Ryan Leets and Andy Starczewski and junior Brian Schultz will all handle alternate captain duties.
Seeking to give back to the community, the Army hockey team has formed "Neighborhood Knights," to volunteer their time.
The group has been actively involved in the local community and plans to utilize its time in a number of projects that benefit the environment and recreation areas.
"I am very proud of our players," said Army hockey head coach Brian Riley. "The players decided that they wanted to be more involved and have done all of this work on their own. Being a West Point cadet or a Division I hockey player is hard enough on its own, yet these guys are finding time to make a difference in their community and that says a lot about their character."
The Neighborhood Knights began their service at Brooks Park in Fort Montgomery, N.Y., where several team members raked leaves and helped clean up the area. Picking up trash in the park and neighboring stream and trails and preparing the park for spring and summer use was the focus of the day.
In addition to work at Brooks Park, the team is also actively involved in the Special Olympics.
The Neighborhood Knights were also involved in 9/11 tributes and are planning to Adopt-A-Highway in the near future, cleaning a 1.3 mile strip in Fort Montgomery, N.Y., as part of a two-year agreement.
Currently, members are working with local youth hockey teams with several projects in the works.
Former Army hockey standout Zach McKelvie is now with the Calgary Flames affiliate Abbotsford Heat. After two seasons with the Boston Bruins, McKelvie signed with Abbotsford in the offseason and will wear No. 4.
A 2009 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, McKelvie served in the Army for two years before joining the Bruins organization. He was stationed in Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantry officer and will serve eight years of reserve time.
McKelvie, listed as a 6-foot-2, 200-pound defenseman, played in 39 games last season with the Providence Bruins with a goal and an assist and 46 penalty minutes.
FROZEN IN PITTSBURGH
The Frozen Four will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa., this season at the CONSOL Energy Center, April 11 and 13.
FIRST FAMILY OF HOCKEY
It's tough to argue with those who call the Riley's the "first family of hockey." From Jack Riley winning an Olympic gold medal to his five children all playing Division I hockey, the evidence is on the ice.
Jack Riley coached at Army from 1951-1986, winning 542 games in the process. He was also selected to coach the 1960 U.S. Olympic men's hockey team and led the squad to its first gold medal in the sport.
Jack's five children all served as captains at their respective schools. Rob and Mark both played at Boston College while Jay was a star at Harvard. Brian graduated from Brown University while Mary Beth, the lone female, was a captain at St. Lawrence University.
Rob took over the Army head coaching position from his father in 1986 and then turned the program over to Brian in 2004.
WATCH IT ONLINE
America One will again provide video and audio where available of every Atlantic Hockey Association game.
Previously the B2 Network, America One is the official multi-media provider of the AHA and carries all games home and away. Subscriptions can be purchased monthly or annually. To access games, visit b2tv.com.
The official Army Athletic Association twitter page can be found at @ArmyAthletics. Score updates, links to game notes and feature stories and breaking news are all tweeted.
Army has been picked to finish 10th in the Atlantic Hockey Association, according to a vote of the league's head coaches. The poll was announced at the Blue Cross Arena at Atlantic Hockey Association Media Day.
Army received 30 points and was picked ahead of American International and Sacred Heart. Each of the league's 12 head coaches voted but were not allowed to choose their own team.
Air Force collected eight first-place votes and was the top choice, followed by Niagara, which had three first-place votes. Mercyhurst was third while Bentley and RIT shared the fourth pick.
Holy Cross was chosen sixth with Connecticut, Robert Morris, Canisius, Army, AIC and Sacred Heart rounding out the poll. Robert Morris received the other first-place vote.
The 2013 Atlantic Hockey Tournament will feature the same format as last year. The top four teams receive a bye into the quarterfinals with seeds 5-8 hosting seeds 9-12 in a best two-out-of-three first round series starting Friday, March 8. The first round winners will then be re-seeded and travel to the top four seeds for a best two-out-of-three quarterfinal series, which will begin Friday, March 15.
The four winners will then travel to the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. with the highest remaining seed facing the lowest remaining seed in the first semifinal, with the other two remaining seeds facing off in the second semifinal on Friday, March 22.
The two semifinal winners will then face-off in the Championship game on Saturday, March 23 with the NCAA Tournament automatic berth on the line.