Feb. 28, 2014
WORCESTER, Mass. - Freshman goaltender Parker Gahagen made a career-high 45 saves to help propel Army to a dominant 5-2 win at Holy Cross in an Atlantic Hockey Association clash Friday night at the Hart Center. On the final regular-season weekend of the year, the Black Knights scored their first goal 15 seconds into the action and never looked back as they collected a second victory in three games.
Army (5-25-0, 5-21-0 AHA) sophomore forward Joe Kozlak matched a career-best two goals on the night, while classmate Zak Zaremba tallied a goal and an assist in the victory. Senior captain Brian Schultz, who got Army on the board, and sophomore forward Shane Hearn each scored a goal. Junior defenseman Maurice Alvarez added two assists.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Gahagen was brilliant in all 60 minutes, turning away 37 shots over the final 40 minutes to earn his second collegiate victory.
"It is our goal to be playing our best hockey down the stretch and into playoffs, and tonight was another indication of that pledge," said 10th-year head coach Brian Riley following the win. "While tonight was an outstanding team victory, our success recent success starts in the goal. Parker (Gahagen) has been our best player on the ice lately, and that has proven to be the difference. He was fantastic in there once again tonight."
Holy Cross (11-19-3, 10-13-3) outshot Army 47-29 on the night and both teams came up empty on one power play each.
Castan Sommer and Logan Smith accounted for Holy Cross' goals, while senior goaltender Derek Kump made 24 saves.
Army wasted no time getting on the board, scoring on its first shift for what marked the team's quickest goal of the season. Sophomore Josh Roberts fed Schultz on the doorstep for the ice-breaker just 15 seconds in to the contest to put the Black Knights on top 1-0. Holy Cross later knotted the score, 1-1, with Castan Sommer's goal at the 13:57 mark. The Black Knights then got a late surge and retook the lead late as Kozlak nabbed his eighth goal of the year with 3:07 remaining in the period, giving the visitors a 2-1 advantage at intermission.
After a penalty-free first period, the Crusaders gifted Army its first power play of the night less than a minute into the second. The Black Knights came up empty on three shots during the extra-man chance, but later denied Holy Cross that same opportunity to maintain a 2-1 edge. Holy Cross outshot Army 20-7 in the second period alone, but Gahagen stopped every last one as the Black Knights nabbed the lone goal of the period with 1:03 remaining. Hearn's rocket got past Kump and gave the Army a 3-1 lead at the break.
The Black Knights' lead grew to 4-1 just 4:12 into the third period as Reuschlein found Zaremba for his sixth goal of the year. Five minutes later, Kozlak stuffed the puck past Kump as Army led 5-1 midway through the final stanza. The Crusaders' final goal of the contest came with 2:24 left but the damage was already done.
The AHA regular-season series ends tomorrow night in West Point, N.Y., as the Black Knights host Holy Cross for Senior Knight at 7:05 p.m. at Tate Rink. Fans can watch the Atlantic Hockey showdown live online via www.americaonesports.com (subscription fees apply). Live statistics can be found on the hockey schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com, and scoring updates will be available through the team's official Twitter handle @Army_Hockey. The game will also be broadcast on the radio via 1390 WOEK-AM and 1340 WALL-AM in the Hudson Valley, along with 92.5 WBLR-FM in Watertown, N.Y. (Fort Drum).
Game Notes: Parker Gahagen, Joe Kozlak and Zak Zaremba earned stars of the game ... joining Parker Gahagen in the starting lineup was senior captain Brian Schultz, sophomore Josh Roberts, sophomore Willie Faust, sophomore Christian Pomarico and junior alternate captain Mac Lalor ... Army dropped a 4-1 contest at home to Holy Cross on Nov. 8 of this season ... the Crusaders celebrated their Senior Night prior to dropping the puck ... Holy Cross is one of five AHA teams Army faced three times in 2013-14 ... Zak Zaremba registered his fifth career multiple-point game with a goal and an assist ... Joe Kozlak now has eight career multiple-point games ... Army played the Senior Night spoiler for the second-straight weekend, as the team topped UConn on its Senior Night last Friday in Storrs, Conn. ... four of Army's five wins this season have come on the road ... Maurice Alvarez's two assists marked the fifth career multiple-point game and third in the last four games.
ARMY 5, HOLY CROSS 2
ARMY 2-1-2 - 5
HOLY CROSS 1-0-1 - 2
ARMY - Schultz (Roberts), 0:15
HC - Sommer (McGrath, Lubanski), 13:57
ARMY - Kozlak (O'Leary, Alvarez), 16:53
ARMY - Hearn (Zaremba), 18:57
ARMY - Zaremba (Reuschlein, Alvarez), 4:12
ARMY - Kozlak (Carlisle), 9:45
HC - Smith, 17:36
Shots: Holy Cross 47 (9-20-18); Army 29 (11-7-11)
Saves: Army 45 (Gahagen, 60:00, 8-20-17); Holy Cross 24 (Kump, 60:00, 9-6-9)
Power Plays: Army, 0-1; Holy Cross, 0-1
Penalties: Army, 1-2; Holy Cross, 1-2