The Black Knights, ranked 10th in the Atlantic Hockey Association, knocked off the 7th ranked Mercyhurst Lakers in a father vs son rivalry.
Game One took place on Saturday at Mercyhurst in Pennsylvania and had one wild finish.
The first period was an eventful one for Army. 6 minutes in, and Dalton MacAfee put the Black Knights up by one with the fantastic set up by Trevor Fidler:
Fidler was low on the boards and saw MacAfee positioning himself down in the slot for the opportunity, and took advantage of it.
That would be all the scoring for the period, but Matt Penta remained a brick wall.
Then, 5 minutes into the 2nd, Mercyhurst knotted the score at 1.
3 minutes and a few penalties later, and the Black Knights found themselves with a 4 on 3 advantage for just under a minute. Dalton MacAfee took advantage of this, like any Hobey Baker candidate should. (Make sure you’re still voting!)
The Black Knights set up a 4 man diamond play while the Lakers played the triangle, and MacAfee found the back of the net on a shortside shot that went past the goalie’s glove. This goal would make for MacAfee’s first career multi-goal game.
That would be all the notable action for the 2nd period, and Army would go into the 2nd intermission with a 2-1 lead.
The third period started with the Lakers tying the game at 2, and both teams would fail to regain the lead for the rest of regulation. So you know what that means: free hockey, a.k.a the most stressful hockey known to man.
Overtime didn’t really get too interesting until under 5 minutes. Then, the game winning play happened.
Army was backed into their own zone, and Dominic Franco lost the faceoff. It looked grim for a second. But then, Franco stole the puck and raced up the ice on a 2 on 2 with Evancho. Franco cut across the top of the offensive zone, flipping the puck over the Mercyhurst defender’s stick in the process, and threw the puck on net. It went in on the goalie’s glove side to win the game.
Game one final: Army 3, Mercyhurst 2. Army outshot Mercyhurst 44-35, but only one 29 faceoffs compared to Mercyhurst’s 47.
Army made sure game two wouldn’t be nearly as close, but it looked like it would be early.
12 minutes into period one, and the Lakers got on the board.
Army would be on the power play the minute after that, and James Franco would capitalize on the opportunity to tally Army’s 36th PPG of the season.
This is a great example of crashing the net after a shot from the point, and a nice shot at that from none other than Dalton MacAfee.
Army ended the period with 21 seconds left on another power play and would head to the locker room tied.
The second period started off quickly, with Brendan Soucie close to giving Army the advantage.
But 5 minutes after that, on the power play, Mason Krueger got the job done.
A dirty goal, but those are the best ones and the unsung hero of many wins.
Speaking of dirty, grind-it-out goals, Daniel Haider scored another.
…and then under a minute later, Krueger again.
This is a case of being in the right place to capitalize on a favorable bounce. When the puck finds it’s way to the slot, you better score.
So that’s 3 goals in under 3 minutes to give the Black Knights a 4-1 lead over the Lakers.
Mercyhurst made an effort at it, but Matt Penta stayed solid as the period ended.
The third period didn’t get good until towards the end, when Trevor Fidler racked on ANOTHER Army goal.
I mean… woah. As the tweet implies, Fidler just intimidated the Lakers’ goalie to miss the puck as it went between his legs and Fidler was able to give it a final push in.
That would finish off the game AND the series as Army swept Mercyhurst. Matt Penta faced 26 shots and had a save percentage of .963. for those who don’t know, that’s pretty good. You know what else is good? Outshooting your opponent 51-27. Not only that, Army also won 44 of 75 faceoffs.
A good weekend for Army hockey as the Black Knights ride high and leave the Lakers Mercy-hurt.
The Black Knights forge on to the next round of the Atlantic Hockey tournament.