WEST POINT, N.Y. — Pete Hams had a goal and an assist, and Fairfield limited Army to only 18 shots on goal en route to its first-ever victory over the Black Knights, 4-1 at sold-out Tate Rink on Saturday night.
In Army’s final home game of the regular season, the Black Knights saw a four-game winning streak and three-game home winning streak come to a halt. With victories by Sacred Heart and American International on Saturday, Army dipped from sixth place back into eighth in the MAAC Hockey League standings. The Black Knights (12-16-1, 10-13-0 MAAC) have three league contests remaining, including a rematch at Fairfield on Tuesday.
Fairfield (8-16-2, 7-12-2) entered the game 0-13-1 all-time against Army, but the Stags snapped a four-game winless streak by scoring twice in both the second and third periods.
Army grabbed a 1-0 lead on a shorthanded breakaway goal by K.C. Finnegan, one of the five Black Knights seniors honored prior to the opening faceoff. Finnegan’s eighth goal of the season came at the 16:40 mark of the first period.
The lead lasted until 5:11 of the second, when Joe Whelan redirected a James Lubinski shot past Scott Hamilton. Six minutes later, the Stags took the lead for good on Dan Cotter’s goal off a scramble to Hamilton’s right.
Hams and Hunter Greeley added insurance goals in the third period, the latter coming after the puck ricocheted off the referee into the open slot area. Hamilton had gone behind the net to play the puck and was unable to stop Greeley’s shot with a diving attempt.
Fairfield outshot Army, 29-18. Stag goalie Craig Schnappinger made 17 saves, Hamilton 25. Fairfield was 1-of-4 on the power play, while allowing the shorthanded goal. The Black Knights were unsuccessful on five man-up tries.
Finnegan, captain Mike Fairman, Andy Haskell, Garrett Brougham and Ford Lannan all made their final Tate Rink appearance for the Black Knights. Fairman has gone scoreless in back-to-back games for only the third time this season and remains just three points shy of 100 for his career.