Jan. 26, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Thane Heller scored twice and Ryan Leets turned away 12 shots as Army posted a 4-1 victory over the Royal Military College, Saturday in an exhibition game at a sold-out Tate Rink.
A crowd of 2,629 was on hand for one of the top international rivalries in all of sports, the 77th meeting between Army and its Canadian brethren.
Heller helped Army to a 2-0 lead and then Leets did the rest much to the delight of the fifth sell-out crowd of the season at Tate Rink.
Maurice Alvarez and Jonathan Gehrt also scored for Army and had assists. Shane Hearn, Josh Richards, Luke Jenkins, Andy Starczewski and Mac Lalor all picked up assists for the Black Knights.
Leets made nine stops in the first two periods and then stopped four shots in the final period to secure the victory.
Army had the first power play opportunity of the game and while it had plenty of chances, came up empty.
The Black Knights did get on the scoreboard a few minutes later. Richards dug the puck out of the corner to Heller in front of the net. Heller took a shot which was knocked into the RMC goal by one its players. Heller, the last Army player to touch the puck, was credited with his ninth goal this season six minutes into the period. It also marked the fourth straight game that Richards recorded a point.
Each team had a power play chance later in the period but the Black Knights led 1-0 and held a 12-5 advantage in shots on goal.
Army extended its lead to 2-0 midway through the second period with a power play score. Lalor cycled the puck to Alvarez who fired a shot. Heller pounced on the rebound for his first career two-goal game.
The Black Knights continued to apply the offensive pressure and out-shot the Paladins 29-9 through the first 40 minutes.
RMC scored midway through the final period when Colin Cook beat Leets with 10:14 left to play.
Alvarez put Army back on top, scoring from in front of the net. Gehrt and Hearn were credited with the assists with under seven minutes left to play.
Gehrt closed the scoring with less than two minutes remaining, scoring on the power play with assists to Jenkins and Starczewski.
Army will return to Atlantic Hockey Association play next weekend at Mercyhurst. Games on Friday and Saturday are at 7:05 p.m. at the Mercyhurst ice Center.
The Black Knights have just five home games remaining. Feb. 8 against AIC, Feb. 16 vs. Bentley, Feb. 22-23 opposite Connecticut and for Senior Day against Holy Cross on March 1. For tickets, please visit www.goARMYsports.com, call 1-877-TIX-ARMY or stop by the Ticket Office at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium.
GAMES NOTES: Army wore its white sweaters ... Army's starting lineup consisted of Brian Schultz, Joe Kozlak, Willie Faust, Jonathan Gehrt and Mac Lalor with Ryan Leets in goal ... Leets made his 50th career start ... Saturday's game was Army's fifth sell-out of the season ... Col. Wiley Thompson served as Officer Representative ... Former hockey coach and hockey legend Jack Riley was among the crowd ... Army is now 1-1-0 in exhibition games this season ... Army leads the all-time series with RMC 41-29-7m including a 27-12-1 mark at West Point.
ARMY 4, RMC 1
ARMY - Heller (Richards), 6:31
ARMY - Heller (Alvarez, Lalor), PP, 9:22
RMC - Cook (MacLean), 9:46
ARMY - Alvarez (Hearn, Gehrt), 12:43
ARMY - Gehrt (Jenkins, Starczewski), PP, 18:07
Shots: RMC 13 (5-4-4); Army 48 (12-17-19)
Saves: RMC 44 (Dorsey, 60:00, 11-16-17); Army 12 (Leets, 59:53, 5-4-3; empty net, 00:07)
Power Plays: RMC, 0-4; Army, 2-7
Penalties: RMC, 10-20; Army, 6-12