NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Brian Schroeder and Ryan Carter scored in a two-minute span late in the third period to break a 2-2 tie as Iona defeated Army 4-2 in front of a crowd of 750 at the Skate Nation Arena Friday night.
Schroeder has made his last two goals count. Prior to the Army game, his last goal was March 10, 2001, when his overtime tally defeated Sacred Heart in overtime of the MAAC quarterfinals.But the senior was modest about his knack for scoring the big goal.
“It’s just more a matter of being in the right spot at the right time,” he said.
The right spot and the right time was the 13:13 minute mark of the third period after Army tied the game with a power-play goal on the seventh of its eight man-advantages.
Said Army coach Rob Riley, “It’s 2-2 and you’re thinking you have a good chance to win and we look up, and you think you have them covered. Then their left defenseman jumped into the play and we didn’t pick him, and that rebound goal was the ballgame.”
The start of the game was much different. As the final notes from the Iona Pipe Band’s bagpipes were dissipating and the crowd was settling in, the Black Knights struck for the first goal just 41 seconds after the opening faceoff. Joe Carpenter beat Iona goaltender Scott Galenza from the right hash mark on assists from Tim Fisher and Nic Serre.
That goal was just the tip of the iceberg of a period that saw the ice tilted towards the Iona end as Army peppered Galenza with 17 shots in the first period. Gaels coach Frank Bretti said his team was back on its heels for the first period. “I definitely thought that Army came out with a lot of spunk and a lot of intensity and clearly outplayed us in the first period,” he said.
The quick start was something Riley was knew his team needed. “We had hoped to come out and establish ourselves a little bit better than the last couple of times here.”
At the seven-minute mark, Army nearly made it 2-0, but a Gabe Rehak goal was disallowed as referee Peter Torgerson ruled Rehak kicked the puck into the net. The West Pointers had another golden chance to take a two-goal lead about nine minutes later as Carpenter stripped Schroeder at the left point and walked in on Galenza. However, Carpenter’s shot was wide to the glove side. The Gaels wasted little time in making Army pay for the missed opportunity.
Ryan Manitowich picked up the loose puck and started a counterattack with Carter, who tied the game at 15:44 as he deked Army goaltender Scott Hamilton and slid the puck behind him.
Carter realized that his goal was just the medicine his team needed. “(Army) seemed like they came out real hard and we were just trying to relieve the pressure. Obviously, we came out sluggish and they were all over us. I just got a lucky bounce — it seemed to turn the game a little bit.”
Iona took the lead again at 5:05 of the second period with the teams skating four a side. Rob Kellogg started the play by winning a draw to the right of Hamilton. Jean-Paul Chaput’s cross point pass found Trevor Aubie alone at the right point. His shot from the blue line found its way through a maze of players and over Hamilton’s right shoulder.
The Gaels continued to tempt fate as they continued their march to the penalty box. The seventh time was the charm as Tim Fisher tied the game just 22 seconds after Brent Williams was whistled for a slashing penalty. Fisher was left alone to the left of Galenza and the senior forward had enough time to wait for Galenza to make the first move as his shot trickled into the Iona net. Serre and Joe Dudek were credited with the assists. The goal was Fisher’s fifth in seven games against Iona.
Rather than setting Army up for its first MAAC win of the year, Fisher’s goal set the stages for Schroeder’s game-winning goal.
“(Army) turned the puck over at our blue line. We actually had an odd-man rush if I joined the play. The guy going in with me was a little smaller than me so I was able to get body position on him and Manitowich took a good shot and the rebound went right on my stick. I mean, Manny and (Army’s) goalie did all the work for me,” Schroeder said.
Carter insured the victory by scoring his second goal of the game at 15:07 of the third period on assists from Manitowich and John Gilbert. Carter skated down the right side and wristed the puck from the right faceoff dot and beat Hamilton to the five-hole.
Army would have one final chance as the received their eighth power play of the game with about four and a half minutes remaining. The Black Knights were unable to capitalize with the man advantage.
Riley was as quick to praise Iona as he was to chastise his own team. “Part of that (1-8 on the power play) is who we’re playing. We have eight first-year guys and they are just loaded with experience, depth and talent. They haven’t had to do too many things to change their special teams from last year. We’re still learning to try and get the right guys on. I’d credit their penalty killing as much as I’d say we struggled.”
Bretti suggested that he must get his team to stop racking up the penalty minutes.
“We were very fortunate tonight to pull this one out based on the amount of penalties we took,” Bretti said. “That was what my whole post-game talk was about. We have to stop taking the amount of penalties we’re taking because I don’t know how long we can get away with it.”
Army (0-4-0, 0-2-0 MAAC) returns to action Saturday night, hosting AIC at Tate Rink at 7 p.m. Iona (4-0-1 overall/MAAC) heads north for its first nonconference game, visiting the Red Raiders of Colgate University at 7:30 p.m.