The Army Navy rivalry got just a little richer tonight, as Navy faced off for the first time in history against West Point’s club hockey team, ultimately winning by a final score of 6-4.
The age old tradition of the Army Navy rivalry was as strong as ever on the ice of McMullen Arena as the two clubs squared off for the first time in front of 1,800 fans who packed the house. The game was as hard-hitting as such an intense rivalry would demand. Right from the first drop of the puck, both sides set a high standard of physicality that would carry through all three periods.
All images © 2013, Kevin Carroll
Navy drew blood first with a blistering wrist shot by sophomore forward, Dustin Oberlander from the high slot. But within a minute, West Point answered with a goal of its won. Oberlander continued, however, to exert pressure on the West Point defense, and several minutes later worked the puck down low in the offensive zone to create an opportunity for freshman Derek Frawley to glide through the slot untouched and accurately redirect Oberlander’s pass to the back of West Point’s net. Army countered soon thereafter with another goal, capitalizing on some defensive confusion in front of the Navy crease.
Though the second period began knotted up, Navy quickly took control, executing an impressive balanced offensive attack. The Freshman line of Gil GIvens, Derek Frawley and Matt Caine got things started on the first shift as Caine kept the puck in the Army zone along the right boards and fed it to Frawley who found Givens on the doorstep for a backdoor goal that put the Midshipmen up for good. Navy followed up the period with goals by juniors Tommy Reed, Danny O’Hear, and Cam Harrigan, giving the hometown team a 6-2 lead going into the final period of play. West Point, to their credit, never gave up and continued to fight strong until the final buzzer. They would add two more goals before time had expired, ending the game with a score of 6-4.
The Midshipmen will take to the road on Saturday as they play ECHA opponent Penn State Berks in an afternoon affair.