Hockey bounces back, forces Game 3 with AIC

By Ally Keirn Army Athletic Communications

March 21st, 2019 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
 Senior forward Trevor Fidler (above) scored the equalizer with 2:23 to go in the second period on the power play that helped Army West Point on its way to a 2-1 victory over American International College March 16 in Springfield, Mass. The victory forced a third and deciding game in the Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinals. AIC would go on to win the series Sunday with a 4-1 win.                                                                                       Photos by Army Athletic Communications

The Army West Point Hockey team bounced back March 16 to continue its 2018-19 season with a 2-1 victory over top-seeded American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
With the win, the Black Knights forced a game three in the Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinals series against the Yellow Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets scored the first of the night, but the senior class led the Black Knights’ comeback with the pair of goals.
Senior forward Trevor Fidler scored the equalizer with 2:23 to go in the second period on the power play before senior defenseman Dalton MacAfee, assisted by senior forwards Taylor Maruya and Tipper Higgins, netted the game-winner 7:50 into the final frame.
Junior goaltender Matt Penta had an outstanding performance in net with 21 saves and just one goal allowed.

How it happened
• It was a different atmosphere in the MassMutual Center Saturday night with the Black Knights and Yellow Jackets battling back-and-forth in a close contest.
• Army’s defense was able to show off to start the game as the team was charged with a game misconduct three minutes into the action.
• Penta returned as the starter in net and denied multiple breakaways in the action.
• The Yellow Jackets netted the first score of the game 10:17 in.
• The Black Knights were able to capitalize on their own 5:00 game misconduct advantage.
• With 2:23 on the clock, Fidler floated a shot over Zackarias Skog to knot the score at 1-1.
• Sophomore forward Mason Krueger took the initial shot in the mix as junior forward Brendan Soucie and sophomore  defenseman Matt Berkovitz jammed the puck in front.
• Fidler was on the door step and his shot deflected off an AIC stick for the high angle goal.
• MacAfee gave Army its first lead in the series at the 7:50 mark of the third.
• Higgins passed the puck up the ice to Maruya who was waiting at the blue line for the quick setup.
• MacAfee fired a snap shot from the top of the left circle and it bounced off an AIC defender’s stick on top of Skog’s glove side.
• With 5:46 remaining in the game, Fidler hustled hard to avoid an icing call against the Black Knights and to keep the puck in Army’s zone.
• At the 18:43 mark, the Yellow Jackets pulled Skog in an attempt to tie things up.
• With 44 seconds to go, the Black Knights were charged with a cross check to give AIC a 6-on-4.
• Then with just five seconds remaining Army had to sit for tripping, but a save by Penta closed out the action with the Cadets in a 6-on-3 situation.

Army highlights and game notes
• The Black Knights trailed AIC in shots 8-2 after the first, but turned things around and ended the game with the Yellow Jackets’ edge just 22-16.
• Army’s senior class led the way with four points.
• For the second time this season, MacAfee scored the game-winning goal.
• It was the third of the senior captain’s career.
• MacAfee continues to lead the Black Knights in points.
• The Needham, Massachusetts, native has nine scores this season and 34 points. In his career, MacAfee has 16 tallies and 71 points.
• Fidler scored a goal for the second time in three games for Army.
• The senior garnered goal number six of the year and his 13th point.
• Fidler increased his career goal total to 26 and his points to 56.
• His goal was also on the power play to mark his third power play of the year and ninth of his career.
• Maruya dished out his fifth assist of the year and notched point nine.
• The senior continues his career on and has 23 helpers and 36 points.
• Higgins now has five assists in 2018-19 and nine points.
• The senior has produced 11 assists in his four-year career and 22 points.
• Soucie and Berkovitz were also credited with assists.
• Soucie increases his year total to 12 and his point total to 20 during his 100th game.
• The junior has 26 career helpers and 56 points.
• Berkovitz now boasts nine assists and 10 points.
• For the second night in a row, the Black Knights denied AIC from scoring a power play goal.
• Army killed off five penalties to increase its weekend total to 12.
(Editor’s note: Army West Point’s hockey season ended Sunday as American International College defeated the Black Knights 4-1 in the deciding game three of the Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinals series.)