WEST POINT, N.Y. — Army freshman center Chris Casey netted his first career hat trick and chipped in two assists, helping the Black Knights to a 7-4 victory over visiting Fairfield before 2,561 fans at Tate Rink Friday night. Fellow plebe Chris Garceau had a goal and three assists.
It was the second hat trick of the season for an Army player and marked career highs for Casey in both goals and points in a game. His five points on the night was a season high for an Army player. Chad Mayfield had a three-point night as the freshman line racked up 12 points in all against the visiting Stags.
Army (8-16-5/6-10-5) erased two one-goal deficits and did not put the game away until late in the third period, when Mayfield scored the eventual game-winner at 8:24 to give the Black Knights a 5-3 lead.
Fairfield (5-20-2/3-16-2) drew within one two minutes later on a goal by Ryan Tormey, but Army struck again with 2:14 left in the game. Casey took a pass from Garceau and lifted the puck into an open net from the right post, clinching the hat trick. Junior Derek Hines added an empty-net goal with 47 seconds remaining.
Fairfield jumped out in front early with a goal from Blaise Silka 2:32 into the contest. Casey scored the first of his three with six minutes remaining to tie the score 1-1 at the end of one.
Army’s Nathan Mayfield put the Black Knights up 2-1 four minutes into the second, but Fairfield answered with two power-play goals, by Dan Cotter and Rae Metz, in the next seven minutes to jump in front 3-2.
Garceau countered with a goal on the power play two and half minutes after Metz’s tally, and Casey gave the home team a two-goal lead with his second of the night at 17:19.
Senior goaltender Scott Hamilton picked up his 31st career win, tying him for ninth on Army’s all-time list. He made 24 saves to improve to 5-8 on the year. He now has 1,910 career saves as he climbs closer to the 2,000-save plateau, reached by only three other Army goalies.
Senior Tim Fisher picked up two assists in the win, giving him 102 career points. He is now tied for 50th on the Academy’s list of all-time scorers.
Army and Fairfield face off again Saturday night in Bridgeport, Conn. Game time at the Wonderland of Ice is set for 8 p.m.