WEST POINT, N.Y. — Army broke out of its scoring slump Saturday night, greeting visiting St. Clair College with eight goals in an 8-1 thrashing of the Saints before a sellout crowd of 2,740 at Tate Rink. Junior Bill Moss picked up the win, making 29 saves in his first collegiate start.
Head coach Rob Riley saw 11 different Black Knights pencil their names on the scoresheet as the hosts increased their modest winning streak to two straight. Army (5-7-0) defeated Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival Quinnipiac, 3-1, Friday night.
Moss got the nod in goal, breaking freshman Brad Roberts’ string of consecutive starts at 11, and made several key saves that enabled the Black Knights to open a cushion in the second period.
Jon Boyle scored his first goal of the season and Chris Casey picked up his fourth to stake Moss to a 2-0 lead after one period of play. Army then blew the game open in the second with four unanswered tallies.
“There was an enormous amount of pressure on Bill,” Riley said. “This is his third year in the program and he finally got a chance to show what he can do. He made a lot of nice saves.”
“I have always put a lot of pressure on myself,” Moss said. “So, I just approached this start as I have approached every other start in my life. I faced some shots right away, and then my teammates got a couple for me to take the pressure off.”
“We were hoping he would see a couple of shots early,” Riley said. “That got him into the flow of the game and I think he became real comfortable after that. He went 60 minutes against a good team.”
Tim Quinlan dented the twine just over one minute into the second before Army buried the Saints with three goals over a 2:22 span midway through the middle stanza. Nick Cahill lit the lamp twice around a marker by captain Joe Dudek that gave the Black Knights a 6-0 advantage.
The visitors from Windsor, Ontario, ruined Moss’ shutout bid in his debut with a power play goal 5:41 into the third period. Army had just killed off a five-on-three when Saints’ Ryan O’Hagen finished off a pass from Pavel Shtefan to make it 6-1.
Shtefan deked his defender to move in on a 2-on-1 break. Despite losing the shutout, Moss did not let up on the Saints.
“I was a little disappointed,” Moss said. “But (Shtefan) made a nice move. There was really nothing I could have done.”
Nic Serre, who finished with a goal and two assists, increased Army’s lead to 7-1, and Casey bagged his second of the day at 7:46 left in the contest to close out the scoring.
Serre was one of four Black Knights to finish with three points on the night. Boyle, Quinlan and Casey were the other three. Cahill’s two goals marked the first multiple-goal game of the sophomore defenseman’s career.
Army is off next week until it travels to Vermont for a Saturday evening contest at Gutterson Field House. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.