Head Coach Bill Riley had a familiar opponent this weekend, his son, Brendan. But that didn’t mean the Black Knights were going to slow their roll for Coach’s family. Mercyhurst got Mercy-hurt, badly.
But it didn’t seem that way immediately. 4 minutes into the 1st period of game one, the Lakers put one home.
But 3 minutes later, Mason Krueger knocked home his second of the season after a curl-behind-the-net assist from Dalton MacAfee.
A great effort by Krueger to get open and slip by the defense lead to a well deserved and game tying goal for Army.
Army and ‘Hurst went into the locker rooms tied, but that wouldn’t last long.
7 minutes into the second, the defenseman Matt Burkovitz scored a nice wrist shot from the point.
This was the Anaheim Ducks draft pick and Green Bay native’s first of the season. The goal came just as a Mercyhurst power play ended. Great job by the Black Knight in front to screen the goalie, making it harder for him to see the puck.
A little over a minute later, Dalton MacAfee got his second goal of the season and second point in the game off of the faceoff.
Everything went right for Army on this play. The center won the faceoff, got the puck up to the point, and as MacAfee took the slap shot, the weak side wing got to the crease to screen the goalie.
Mercyhurst could’ve prevented this if their strong side wing had continued to face MacAfee if he took the shot, to try and block it. But I’ve played both wing and defense, and I know hoe intimidating it can be sometimes having to skate towards a flying puck.
Period 2 ended with a 3-1 Army lead. But the Black Knights weren’t done yet.
There was a scoring drought until 6 minutes left in the 3rd, when Zach Evancho scored one from the high slot.
While the goal was a nice shot, the assist from Zach Wilkinson was what deserves more of a spotlight. Going down the left side of the boards with the puck, then buying time by cutting back and hitting Evancho with the pass. That’s smart hockey.
Ending the game with his first of the season was Tucker DeYoung with an empty netter.
The Black Knights scored 5 unanswered goals to dominate the first game of the series.
But the Lakers put up a bigger fight in game 2.
The first period was a rough one for Army, but luckily not too rough.
Exactly 7 minutes into the 1st, Mercyhurst scored what would be the only of the period, despite the Black Knights going to the power play.
The second period was another Mercyhurst dominated one.
2 minutes in, Kozslowski stops a Laker breakaway.
Then, late in the 2nd, Mercyhurst finds the net once again, expanding the deficit to 2.
3rd period went much better for Army.
A little more than a minute into the 3rd, Clutch Evancho gave the Black Knights a much needed spark, making the score 2-1 Mercyhurst.
A back door goal and great recognition by MacAfee to get the puck over to Evancho.
This game literally came right down to the wire.
15 seconds left. Fond Du Lac, WI native Micheal Wilson scored a clutch one that needed review, but it stood.
MY. LORD. What a goal! If you don’t have goosebumps from watching that, then I don’t know what to say. That was one helluva goal. A shot from MacAfee is blocked away, but Wilson crashed the net to knock it home before the net is moved off it’s post.
Overtime. Free hockey. With Army momentum. What could be better?
And none other than Micheal Wilson for the win with 3 minutes left in OT!
A nice little tic-tac-toe from point, corner to the slot for a beautiful goal from Wilson.
The Lakers may have had the lead early, but not the legs to finish the game strong.
Army goes home with a full 4 points.
Both Army hockey and Army football take on Chair Force next week. If it flies, it dies! Go Army, Beat Air Force!