WEST POINT, N.Y. — Mike Fairman and Chris MacLeod each had two goals and an assist, and backup goalie Ford Lannan stopped 23 of 24 shots in relief to lead Army to a wild 6-5 victory over American International before 1,549 at Tate Rink on Friday.
The contest featured a wild nine-goal opening period in which more than a third of the shots on goal went in the net. The Yellow Jackets scored their four goals on only six shots, with Olivier Gagnon’s goal chasing Army starting goalie Scott Hamilton at the 13:24 mark.
Gagnon’s goal tied the game at 4, but Fairman snapped the deadlock less than three minutes later with his second score of the period, a highlight-reel rush through the defense capped by a hard snap shot.
AIC’s Andy Luhovy opened the scoring only 1:05 into the game, and the two teams alternated the next six goals. Trailing 3-2 with still half the opening period left, Army sophomore defenseman Kevin Emore picked up his first collegiate goal on a shot from the blue line through a screen, and four minutes later Fairman found a wide open net after a crossing feed from Chris MacLeod.
Defenseman Aaron Arnett scored twice in the opening period, once after his initial shot was blocked by Hamilton but the rebound caromed in off a Black Knight defenseman.
Things settled down in the middle period, with MacLeod scoring the lone goal on a low shot from the left faceoff dot. MacLeod’s two goals and one assist give him six multi-point games this season.
Luhovy drew the Yellow Jackets within one goal just 1:24 into the third period, flipping his second score of the night over Lannan’s left shoulder.
Lannan made 12 more saves the rest of the way, including two tricky stops on Guillaume Caron in the final minute. He also stoned Mathieu Abiad on a breakaway with a minute to go in the second period.
Lannan’s victory was the second of his career and his first decision of the season in only his fourth appearance.
Army outshot AIC 36-30 but only managed two shots on goal after peppering Chance Thede for 34 shots through two periods. The game featured only four penalties, with each team 0-for-2 on the power play.
The two teams entered the night separated by only three points in the MAAC standings. Army ended a six-game winless skein and improved to 6-12-1 and 5-9-0 in the league. AIC fell to 5-14-1, 5-9-1.
The two teams square off again on Saturday in Springfield, Mass., in the back end of a home-and-home set. Game time is 7 p.m.