Hockey Visits UConn, Hosts Bentley This Weekend

Rob Tadazak

Rob Tadazak

Oct. 31, 2013

Army vs. UConn/Bentley Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army hockey team continues to roll through the early portion of its schedule, opening Atlantic Hockey Association play this weekend at Connecticut (0-2-1) Friday night and versus Bentley on Saturday night at home.

The Black Knights are in search of their first win of 2014, following losses at Penn State (4-1) and Merrimack (4-2) to start the year. Saturday night's game marks the first edition of Hockey Knight at West Point, as Army returns to the friendly confines of Tate Rink to host Bentley (1-5-0).

HOW TO FOLLOW
Television • None
WebcastAmericaOneSports.com
RadioArmy Sports Network • 1340 WALL, 1380 WEOK (Hudson Valley)
Twitter@Army_Hockey
Live Statistics • GameTracker • goARMYsports.com

SATURDAY NIGHT'S OPENER
Fans will have the chance to participate in the first Skate with the Black Knights will take place for Saturday night's home opener. The ice will be open to skate with players postgame. Fans must bring their own skates and keep them under their seats during the game. An Army hockey poster will be Saturday's giveaway as a part of Opening Knight at Tate Rink.

INSIDE THE SERIES
Army vs. Connecticut | UConn came away with a 2-0-1 win in last season's series, which inched the Huskies closer in an all-time series that dates back to the first meeting on Feb. 24, 1969. Army holds a 28-23-8 lead overall and is 10-12-2 when playing in Storrs, Conn. In fact, the Black Knights' last win over the Huskies came on Feb. 7, 2012, at UConn's Freitas Ice Forum.

Army vs. Bentley | Army holds a 23-17-8 lead on its all-time series with Bentley, which dates back to the first meeting on Jan. 29, 1982. The Black Knights won the first nine games of the series before the Falcons cracked into the win column in 2001. The teams went 1-1-1 against each other in 2012-13 with the last meeting ending in a 1-1 tie on Feb. 16 at Army's Tate Rink. The Black Knights' last win over Bentley came by way of a 3-2 victory on Nov. 29, 2012, in Waltham, Mass.

SCHEDULE STRENGTH
Army's only two remaining non-league opponents are both ranked in the national polls. The Black Knights visit No. 7/8 Boston College next Sunday, Nov. 10, and host No. 3/3 Providence on Dec. 20 at Tate Rink. Both national polls can be found on page 3.

LAST TIME OUT: ARMY AT MERRIMACK REWIND
Oct. 26, 2013 | Lawler Arena
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.

ABOUT THE BLACK KNIGHTS
Sophmore forward Willie Faust leads the Black Knights in scoring with a goal and an assist through two games. Senior defenseman Mac Lalor and freshman forward C.J. Reuschlein are responsible for the Black Knights' two other goals scored in 2014. Four different players have tallied single assists, as Army sits at 0-2-0 heading into this weekend's contests.

Two of the Black Knights' three goals scored this season have come on the power play. Army's penalty kill is currently leading the Atlantic Hockey Association at 90.9 percent.

While Army lost leading scorer Andy Starczewski (11G, 15A) to graduation in May, the team's next 10-leading scorers are all back to include Lalor (6G, 12A) and AHA All-Rookie Team selection Joe Kozlak (7G, 10A). Junior Rob Tadazak, who started 21 games last season and posted a .907 save percentage, returns to headline the Black Knights' goaltending corps. Senior Brian Schultz will serve as team captain and Lalor and fellow junior Josh Richards were selected as alternate captains.

LAST TIME OUT VS. CONNECTICUT
Feb. 23, 2013 | Tate Rink
WEST POINT, N.Y. - John Clark scored his first career goal and Andy Starczewski and Joe Kozlak extended scoring streaks but Connecticut posted a 6-3 victory, Saturday night at a sold-out Tate Rink.

Army twice tied the game but fell in front of a crowd of 2,626, the sixth sell-out of the season at Tate Rink.

Clark, Maurice Alvarez and Christian Pomarico scored goals for the Black Knights who are now 7-17-5 overall and 7-12-5 in Atlantic Hockey Association games. Starczewski, Kozlak, Thane Heller, Luke Jenkins, Andrew O'Leary and Shane Hearn were credited with assists.

Connecticut goalie Matt Grogan, who entered the game with a 1.69 goals against average and .947 save percentage, turned away 30 shots to help the Huskies improve to 16-1-3 overall and 13-10-2 in league contests.

For the fourth consecutive game, Army out-shot its opponent yet came up empty. Saturday, Army held a 33-30 advantage in shots on goal.

LAST TIME OUT VS. BENTLEY
Feb. 16, 2013 | Tate Rink
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Andy Starczewski and Mac Lalor scored goals as Army battled back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 overtime tie with Bentley, Saturday night in an Atlantic Hockey Association contest at Tate Rink.

Bentley jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Army roared back to tie the contest and it ended in a draw before a crowd of 2,195 fans.

Army held a 56-25 advantage in shots on goal, including an 8-5 advantage in the five-minute sudden-victory overtime session and moved to 7-15-5 overall and 7-10-5 in league games.

Army goalie Rob Tadazak turned away 23 shots while Bentley's Branden Komm made 54 stops for the Falcons who are now 12-15-2 overall and 10-11-2 in league contests.

Army and Bentley tied the season series 1-1-1 and capped a seven-day stretch that included three games for the Black Knights.

Joe Kozlak, Maurice Alvarez and Thane Heller collected assists for Army.

ABOUT THE HUSKIES
UConn is off to an 0-2-1 start to the season and hosts Army in its second home game of the year on Friday night. The Huskies dropped their first two games of the season at Minnesota State, which received votes in this week's national media poll, before tying Union, 2-2, at home.

Under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Cavanaugh, UConn is looking to improve upon last season's 19-14-4 showing. Senior Jordan Sims leads the team with a pair of goals and an assist. Classmate Billy Latta and junior defenseman Jacob Poe have each tallied two points apiece. Senior Matt Grogan has started all three games in goal and owns a .922 save percentage and a 3.24 goals-against average.

ABOUT THE FALCONS
After winning the season-opener at Nebraska-Omaha, 6-4, Bentley has lost five games in a row and sits at 1-5-0 on the year. The Falcons play at Merrimack on Friday night before visiting Army on Saturday night.

Junior defenseman Steven Weinstein leads hte team with five points, all of which are courtesy of an AHA-best five assists. Rookie forward Max French (2G, 2A) and junior forward Alex Grieve (3G, 1A) have totaled four points apiece. Senior goaltender Brendan Komm has authored a 3.02 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. Head coach Ryan Soderquist, a 2000 Bentley graduate, is in his 12th season behind the bench.

YOUNG GUNS
With an average age of 21 years old, Army is the youngest hockey team in the Atlantic Hockey Association. By class, the Black Knights are the second-youngest team in the country with a combined 21 freshmen and sophomores. Only Penn State has more with 22 underclassmen.

WHAT'S NEXT
Army remains at home to face AHA foe Holy Cross next Friday, Nov. 8, at 7:05 p.m. The Black Knights then break on Saturday before returning to the ice on Sunday at No. 7/8 Boston College at 3 p.m. in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

WATCH ONLINE
America ONE will again provide video and audio where available of every Atlantic Hockey Association game.

America ONE is the official multimedia provider of the AHA and carries all games home and away. Subscriptions can be purchased monthly or annually. To access games, visit americaonesports.com.

MAKING AN IMPACT
Army announced its partnership with Team IMPACT in early October, an initiative that keeps with the program's proven history of giving back. Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization geared towards enhancing the lives of children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by matching them up with collegiate athletic teams. Through a structured matching process, the relationship between the child and team is established and cultivated to ensure a successful experience for both parties.

"Giving back to the community and our players volunteering their time to do something for the good of others is a staple for our program and will be for years to come," head coach Brian Riley said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, Mike Montana officially became the Black Knights' newest teammate. He and his family made the short trek from their Patterson, N.Y., home to West Point where Mike was given a stall in the Army lockerroom, personalized jersey and a warm welcome from his new hockey family. Mike was diagnosed with bilateral leukemia in 2011 and underwent two years of treatment. His cancer is now in remission and he was able to rejoin his eighth grade class this year.

The Army hockey team's tradition of community outreach and service has been evident throughout Riley's tenure. The team's most recent endeavor was the development of Neighborhood Knights. The group has been actively involved in the community in a number of projects that benefit the local environment and recreation areas, including the Adopt-A-Highway program. Most recently, Neighborhood Knights spent a day planting flowers in the local area in mid-October.

In addition, Army has played an annual hockey game against the Long Island Rough Riders, a sled hockey team is primarily made up of people with various lower extremity disabilities, and pioneered the House of Blues program aimed at raising prostate cancer awareness.

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