WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army hockey team will look to build on its series split with AIC last weekend as the Black Knights host Connecticut on Friday night for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff at Tate Rink.
Tickets are limited, but still available and the game will be streamed live on America One and audio is going to be available on goarmysports.com.
THIS WEEK: CONNECTICUT COMES TO WEST POINT
For the first time as a member of Hockey East, Connecticut makes the trip to West Point for a matchup tonight. One of the founding members of Atlantic Hockey joined the elite conference on the East Coast last year. The Huskies have enjoyed a roller coaster ride in the first half of the season with a 5-9-4 mark overall, but wins over Quinnipiac, Boston College and Vermont, have been impressive as each of those teams has been ranked this season. Recently, they have won two of their last three, including a 3-2 win over defending national champion Union and a 4-3 victory at UMass. UConn is 3-4-1 through their first eight games in Hockey East play, which puts them in the middle of the pack in the conference. The Huskies also moved the XL Center in Hartford for their contests this season and have been drawing some of the best crowds in college hockey. The Black Knights dropped two of the three games last year and own a 29-28-8 advantage over the Huskies.
NEXT WEEK: ANNUAL SERVICE ACADEMY MATCHUP AT AIR FORCE
The Black Knights will head out west for its annual two-game series with service-academy rival Air Force on Jan. 16 and 17. The Falcons have played 21 games this season and sit at 5-13-3 overall and 4-6-2 in conference play. They were at Holy Cross last weekend and earned one point in Worcester with a 1-1 tie on Friday night. Air Force has gone winless in its last six games with an 0-5-1 mark with its last win coming on Nov. 29 at Canisius. The Falcons swept the Black Knights last year in the second half of the season with a pair of wins by two goals with 3-1 and 4-2 victories at Tate Rink. Air Force leads the all-time series by a 34-22-5 advantage with Army’s last win coming in 2011 , which was a 5-4 win on the road in Colorado Springs. The Falcons are at home this weekend against Niagara for a pair of games.
LAST TIME OUT: WEEKEND SPLIT AGAINST AIC
The Black Knights ended a short three-game winless streak last Saturday with a 4-3 win over American International on the road, thanks to four goals in the first 20 minutes. The win also halted a three-game winning streak for the Yellow Jackets against Army. The weekend started with a tough 3-2 loss in overtime after the Black Knights had a pair of one-goal leads, including one going into the third period. American International scored 18 seconds into the extra frame to earn their first win since early November.
Army rebounded the next night with its best scoring period since 2011 as the Black Knights scored four goals. The scoring was spread out with four different goal scorers in the period. Tyler Pham had three points in the frame, while C.J. Reuschlein tallied two points with a goal and an assist. The Black Knights hung onto that lead late in the game as American International made it interesting down the stretch by scoring three unanswered goals, including the first one that came with 15 seconds left in the first period. Goaltender Cole Bruns, however, shut the door with 27 saves in the game to earn his first win as a member of the Black Knights.
TOP ROOKIE SCORER
Tyler Pham continues to be one of the top scorers in Atlantic Hockey and the country. He leads the conference among rookies with 19 points and all of those points have come in league play. He is tops in all three offensive categories for the Black Knights with seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points. Three of his goals have come on the power play, which is tied with Maurice Alvarez for the most on the team. Pham added to his total last weekend with four points, including a three-point night against American International on Saturday in a 4-3 win on the road. He ranks third nationally in total points and fourth in points per game as he is averaging a point a game. Pham was named Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week for the second time this season after four points against AIC last weekend.
C.J. Reuschlein saw 2015 as a welcomed sight last weekend as he got the year started with two goals and an assist in the weekend split with the Yellow Jackets. He posted his first multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist on Saturday night in the 4-3 win. He also scored the first goal of 2015 for the Black Knights on Friday night at home against AIC in the 3-2 overtime loss. He is now third on the team with eight points and all eight have come in Atlantic Hockey action.
FIRST CAREER WIN
Rookie netminder Cole Bruns also welcomed a change in the calendar as he earned his first collegiate win on Saturday night in Army’s win over American International. He helped the Black Knights end a three-game losing streak overall and against the Yellow Jackets with 27 saves, including 12 in the final period. He did have a shutout earlier in the year against Holy Cross, but it was a scoreless draw, so he did not earn the victory. Saturday night was Bruns’ eighth start of his career and ninth game played.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
Connecticut joined Hockey East this year and, so far in their first season the Huskies are 3-4-1 in conference and a 5-10-4 mark overall. They have split their last four games with wins over defending national champion Union and Massachusetts. UConn has earned big wins over Quinnipiac, Boston College and Vermont, all of whom are in the national rankings. All but one for the Huskies has been a one-goal victory and that was a 4-1 decision over the Bobcats on Oct. 21. They have struggled to score goals with an average of 1.84 per game, but the defense has been active, allowing 2.63 per contest. The power play needs improvement with seven goals in 70 chances for a 10 percent efficiency.
Junior Shawn Pauly is one of three skaters to have double-digit points with 12 on the year. He ha two goals and 10 assists with one power play goal. Nine of his 12 points have come in league play. Senior Trevor Gerling and freshman Spencer Naas each have 10 points on the year with seven goals and three helpers. They are tied for the team lead in goals, and Gerling is tied with sophomore Evan Richardson with two power play goals. Senior Jacob Poe is the leading point-getter among defensemen with six points on a goal and five helpers. The Huskies feature two NHL Draft picks with rookie David Drake with Philadelphia and sophomore Ryan Segalla being picked by Pittsburgh.
In net, sophomore Rob Nichols has started all 19 games and has one shutout and a 5-10-4 record. He has kept the Huskies in a lot of games with a 2.34 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. He averages just under 30 saves per contest and had 31 saves against Colorado College in a 4-1 loss at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., on Jan. 6.
This is the 64th meeting between UConn and Army since the first meeting back in 1969. The Black Knights lead the series by a slim 29-27-8 margin. Connecticut has closed the gap as of late with wins in four of the last five matchups, including two wins in three games in last season. Army leads the series at West Point with a 17-14-6 advantage.