WEST POINT, N.Y. — Mike Fairman jammed in a rebound with 1:47 left in regulation, snapping a 5-5 tie and sending Army to a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over MAAC Hockey League rival Iona before a sellout crowd of 2,911 at Tate Rink Saturday night.
Tim Fisher and Josh Morino both had a goal and two assists for the Black Knights, who trailed 3-0 and 4-2 early in the game and 5-4 early in the third period.
Freshman Dustin Healey made his first collegiate goal a big one, tying the game at 5-5 at 5:18 of the third period, setting the stage for Fairman’s heroics.
The winning goal, Fairman’s team-leading 16th of the season, was set in motion when Nic Serre’s initial shot got caught between several sets of skates at the top of the Iona crease. Fisher got a stick on it before Fairman finally rammed it home, electrifying the largest crowd to see a game at Tate Rink this year. It was also the largest MAAC attendance ever in a campus facility.
The second-place team in the MAAC, Iona fell to 0-18-1 all-time at West Point and 2-22-1 overall against Army.
Ryan Carter, Ryan Manitowich and Brian Schroeder all scored for the Gaels in the first 12:50 of the contest, but just 18 seconds after Schroeder’s goal Nathan Mayfield lighted Army’s side of the new Tate Rink scoreboard for the first time. Garrett Brougham made it 3-2 when he redirected Joe Dudek’s shot from the point with 1:43 remaining in the opening stanza.
Iona (12-10-3, 11-4-3) regained a two-goal margin on Adam Bouchard’s power-play tip-in 1:45 into the second period, but later in the period Army rallied for its first tie of the night when Morino scored on a slap shot from the blue line and Fisher scored into a partially empty net with Iona goalie Mike Fraser (20 saves) stuck out of position.
The Gaels were welcomed into third-period action with a five-on-three power play leftover from the closing seconds of the middle period, and defenseman Nathan Lutz needed only 27 seconds to blast in the go-ahead goal from the right point. But Healey and Fairman took over from there, lifting the Black Knights to a much-needed victory after a disappointing 7-4 road loss to last-place Bentley Friday night.
The Army (9-15-1, 8-12-0) victory also avenged a 6-3 loss to Iona in its MAAC opener on Oct. 20.
Nic Serre collected two assists for Army, while winning goaltender Scott Hamilton (25 saves) registered his second assist in as many nights on the Morino goal. Fisher’s three points extended his scoring streak to eight games.
Lutz picked up his league-leading 21st and 22nd assists prior to his first goal of the season, while Mark Hallam also had a pair of helpers for Iona, which had its four-game unbeaten string snapped.