Junior forward Chris Garceau registered a goal and an assist, and Army’s defense gave goalie Brad Roberts a relatively easy night as the Black Knights downed visiting Ryerson, 3-1, Friday night in front of 1,412 fans at Tate Rink.
Army (1-0-0) dominated the first two periods of play and held a 40-16 advantage in shots over Ryerson (0-3-0) for the game. The win marked the Black Knights’ fourth consecutive victory on opening night and ran their winning streak over Canadian schools to four straight as well.
Fittingly, it was senior co-captain Jon Boyle who collected the first goal of the season on a slapshot from just inside the blue line. He beat Rams’ goaltender Braden Deane high over the shoulder at 5:42 of the first period.
Garceau then flipped a backhand that trickled through Deane’s pads and into the net with three minutes remaining in the opening stanza to stake the hosts to a 2-0 lead after one.
Ryerson center Marco Sestito cut Army’s lead in half four minutes into the second on an unassisted effort. Greg McMillan nearly tied the game three minutes later when he crossed in front of Roberts and shot back across the grain at an open net. However, Army’s netminder flashed his glove hand and snatched the shot out of the air, robbing McMillan’s shorthanded attempt.
Sophomore Seth Beamer restored Army’s two-goal lead with six minutes remaining when his wrister from the left boards beat Deane. Justin Fagan, who assisted on Garceau’s game-winner in the first period, picked up his second point of the evening with another helper.
Freshman Ryan Cruthers came inches from his first career college goal when he broke in on Deane all alone with 1:41 to play. However, Ryerson’s goalie showed some heroics of his own gloving the plebe’s backhand attempt while sprawled out on the ice.
Deane recorded 37 saves in a losing effort, while Roberts registered 15. Chris Migliaro was the only other Black Knight to pick up a point in the season opener. He assisted on Beamer’s insurance tally in the second period.
Army faces Ryerson again Saturday night when the two schools meet at Tate Rink for a 7 p.m. start.