WEST POINT, N.Y. — Scott Hamilton made 31 saves and became the first goalie in Army and MAAC history to be credited with a goal as the Black Knights skated past Sacred Heart 4-1 before a sellout crowd of 2,746 Friday night at Tate Rink.
The victory allowed Army to jump past Sacred Heart and idle American International into sixth place in the conference standings.
Hamilton’s goal came just after he saved a shot from near the faceoff circle to his right. Sacred Heart’s Richard Naumann gathered the puck just to the opposite side of the net and tried to feed it back to the point, but the pass sailed between the two defenseman the length of the ice and into his own empty net.
Overshadowed by Hamilton’s late theatrics, Tim Fisher also played the role of hero for the Black Knights. The junior right wing snapped a 1-1 tie with two third-period goals. His go-ahead marker came on a tip-in at the 5:12 mark of the final stanza, and he gave Army a two-goal cushion when he streaked in from the right boards and steered the puck just past Pioneer netminder Eddy Ferhi’s right skate.
Fisher’s two goals give him 16 for the season, tying Mike Fairman for the club lead.
Sacred Heart jumped ahead at the 9:31 mark of the opening period when Martin Paquet took advantage of an Army turnover and scored an unassisted goal between Hamilton’s pads. Just 1:29 later Army’s K.C. Finnegan tied it when he flipped in a rebound of his own blocked passing attempt from the right side of the net.
The game remained 1-1 through two periods, despite flurries of shots from both sides. Army finished with 40 shots on goal, its most in six weeks, while the Pioneers launched 32. Ferhi, who had beaten Army twice earlier this season including a 4-0 shutout on Jan. 6, finished with 36 saves.
The victory was Army’s fourth straight, its longest winning run of the season. Now 10-12 in conference play, Army hosts 10th-place Fairfield (6-12-2) Saturday on Senior Night at Tate Rink. The Stags were drubbed by Iona, 9-3, Friday night. Sacred Heart (10-10-5, 7-9-5) hosts Iona on Saturday.