Oct. 26, 2013
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Playing its first game in two weeks, the Army hockey team could not hang on to an early lead and suffered a 4-2 road loss at Merrimack in non-conference action on Saturday night at a sold out Lawler Arena. The Black Knights held leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but could not keep the Warriors off the board late in their second loss of the young season.
Junior goaltender Rob Tadazak stood tall, making 39 saves in the setback. Rookie forward C.J. Reuschlein got Army (0-2) on the board with his first career goal in the opening period. Sophomore forward Willie Faust netted his first goal of the season in the second period. Sophomore Luke Jenkins and juniors Maurice Alvarez and Zak Zaremba all earned a point in the assist column Saturday night.
The Warriors held a 43-16 advantage in shots on goal, while each team cashed in on a power play goal. Merrimack was 1-of-7 on the power play for the night, while Army scored once in four chances.
Both teams endured two power plays in the opening 10 minutes with neither club able to break through. After playing nearly the entire period scoreless, Reuschlein broke the ice for Army as he notched his first collegiate goal, deflecting in a pass from Jenkins on the doorstep with 46 seconds remaining. With time running out, however, rookie forward Kyle Plageman committed a 5:00 major penalty. Plageman, done for the night, sent Merrimack on a third power play that would stretch into the second session.
Merrimack wasted little time evening the score, 1-1, with its first goal of the night on the power play 2:36 into the second period. The Black Knights proceeded to kill the remaining 2:23 on the major penalty and later netted the go-ahead goal at the midway point to regain a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Willie Faust recorded his first goal of the season 10:16 into the second off assists from Zaremba and Alvarez. The Black Knights' 2-1 lead would stand at the end of two periods.
Once again, the Warriors struck early in the period to knot the score at 2-all 5:33 into the third. The goal, which was scored on a delayed Army penalty, set up the ensuing power play goal as the Warriors took their first lead of the night, 3-2, on a Quinn Gould score 8:09 into the third. With Tadazak off the ice, Merrimack tacked on an insurance goal with 1:16 to play.
Army returns to the ice next Friday, Nov. 1, in its Atlantic Hockey Association opener at Connecticut. The Black Knights continue AHA play the following night, opening the home portion of their schedule against AHA foe Bentley on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:05 p.m.
Fourteen games are scheduled to be played at Tate Rink this season, highlighted by Atlantic Hockey Association matchups against service-academy rival Air Force, Bentley, Holy Cross, Sacred Heart, Canisius, Mercyhurst, American International and Connecticut. Lauded as one of the top venues in the region, the Black Knights played in front of six sellout crowds a year ago.
To order your tickets, visit www.goARMYsports.com/tickets, call 1-877-TIX-ARMY or stop by the Army Ticket Office located at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium.
Game Notes: Army has played in a sold-out arena in each of its first two games of the season ... Merrimack celebrated Homecoming this weekend ... rookies Kyle Plageman and Ryan Nick made their collegiate debuts ... junior alternate captain Mac Lalor and freshman Joe Bruckler are the lone players from Massachusetts on the roster ... Army fell to 0-13-0 in games played at Merrimack ... Army wore its road black sweaters ... the game underwent a lengthy delay in the first period as Noah Strone of Army's support staff was taken to the hospital after taking a puck on the bench ... he was taken to the hospital, but did return.
MERRIMACK 4, ARMY 2
MERR 0-1-3 -- 4
ARMY 1-1-0 -- 2
ARMY - Reuschlein (Jenkins), 19:13
MERR - Gustafsson (Collins, LeBlanc), 2:36 PP
ARMY - Faust (Alvarez, Zaremba), 10:16 PP
MERR - Collins (Gustafsson, Heywood), 5:33
MERR - Gould (Singleton, Mansfield), 8:09
MERR - Collins (empty net), 1:16
Shots: Merrimack 43 (12-20-11); Army 16 (6-9-1)
Saves: Merrimack 14 (Marotta, 59:54, 5-8-1; empty net, 0:06); Army 39 (Tadazak, 59:50, 12-19-8; empty net, 0:10)
Power Plays: Merrimack 1-7; Army, 1-4
Penalties: Merrimack, 4-8; Army, 8-27