Army Rally Falls Short At RIT, 4-3

Freshman Tanner Creel

Freshman Tanner Creel

Jan. 18, 2014

Final Stats

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – RIT scored the first three goals of the game, but the Black Knights came storming back on the wings of sophomore forward Joe Kozlak and rookie line mate C.J. Reuschlein, who each tallied one goal and an assist in the second period, but the comeback fell just short in a 4-3 setback in the second game of an Atlantic Hockey Association weekend series at Frank Ritter Arena.

Along with Kozlak and Reuschlein, freshman center Clint Carlisle scored his fifth goal of the season in the third. Also picking up points with single assists were Josh Roberts, Maurice Alvarez, Josh Richards and Luke Jenkins. Army (3-18-0, 3-14-0 AHA) out-shot the Tigers, 40-34, but dropped its seventh-straight contest.

Making his second career start, freshman goaltender Tanner Creel made 30 stops in just his second collegiate appearance.

RIT (8-11-3, 7-7-1 AHA) senior Ben Lynch scored the Tigers’ first two goals, while Dan Schuler and Mike Colavecchia also netted goals. Junior goaltender Jordan Ruby made 37 saves on RIT’s behalf. The home team scored the lone power play goal of the season, as the Black Knights went 0-for-2 when given an extra-man chance.

A strange start to the night had sophomore center Shane Hearn taking a penalty shot just 30 seconds into the contest. Unfortunately for the Black Knights, fresh off a Friday night’s shutout, Ruby denied Hearn in the early going. Army’s inability to capitalize on a golden opportunity gave RIT a chance to draw first blood, which it did at 7:09 of the opening period the first of Lynch’s two goals on the period. His second came at the 12:26 mark and preceded Schuler’s goal at 17:23 to give the Tigers a 3-0 cushion at the first intermission.

Army could not have asked for a better start to the second period, netting back-to-back goals in the opening two minutes of play to inch within 3-2 of the Tigers. Reuschlein put the Black Knights on the board at 1:25, while Kozlak registered his third of the season just 19 seconds later, putting the exclamation point on a stretch that got Army back in the game in a hurry.

The teams went on to play through 18 minutes of scoreless hockey as the Tigers took a 3-2 edge into the second intermission.

The back-and-forth play continued into the third until RIT scored what appeared to be an insurance goal at the 15:26 mark, but the Black Knights were not ready to fold and answered on Carlisle’s goal 29 seconds later from Richards and Jenkins. Head coach Brian Riley pulled Creel with 1:34 to go, but Army could not make it count in the waning seconds of the contest.  

Army continues a six-game road swing with an exhibition showdown with rival Royal Military College next Saturday, Jan. 25. The Black Knights’ first visit to its Canadian brethren in eight years, the teams renew the rivalry at the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ont.

Fans can follow along with the action via the Army Sports Network, which can be heard on the radio and online. Nikolai Busko has the call on 1340 WALL-AM and 1380 WEOK-AM in the Hudson Valley, along with 92.5 WBLH-FM in Watertown, N.Y., the home of Fort Drum. Fans around the world can tune in online via Subscription fees apply for the latter option. Scoring updates will also be available on Twitter by following @Army_Hockey.

Game Notes: RIT now leads the all-time series 13-2-5 … the Black Knights donned their road black sweaters … the starting lineup featured Andrew O’Leary, Shane Hearn, Willie Faust, Christian Pomarico, Garret Peterson and Tanner Creel in goal … the last time Army took a penalty shot was Kyle Maggard ’12 on Feb. 11, 2012, opposite Holy Cross … RIT attempted a penalty shot on Friday night and was denied … Army adjusted its top line from Friday night’s game to include team captain Brian Schultz (right wing), freshman Clint Carlisle (center) and alternate captain Josh Richards (left wing) … Saturday night also marked 500th night at West Point, which means Schultz and classmate Mike Santee are just 500 days away from graduation … C.J. Reuschlein and Joe Kozlak registered their first and fifth career multiple-point games, respectively … Reuschlein was named one of the game’s three stars.

ARMY               0-2-1 – 3
RIT                  3-0-1 – 4

First Period:
RIT – Lynch (Skirving, Noyes), 7:09
RIT – Lynch (Schuler), 12:26
RIT – Schuler (Skirving, Kuqali), 17:23

Second Period:
ARMY – Reuschlein (Roberts, Kozlak), 1:25
ARMY – Kozlak (Alvarez, Reuschlein), 1:44

Third Period:
RIT – Colavecchia (Noyes, Descoteaux), 15:26
ARMY – Carlisle (Richards, Jenkins), 15:55

Shots: Army 40 (18-14-8); RIT 34 (15-10-9)
RIT 37 (Ruby, 60:00, 18-12-7); Army 30 (Creel, 58:26, 12-10-8; empty net, 1:34)
Power Plays:
RIT, 1-2; Army, 0-2
RIT, 4-8; Army, 3-6

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