WEST POINT, N.Y. — Lyle Gal tipped a pass from Casey Bickley past Holy Cross goalie Ben Conway on the power play with 2:31 remaining in the contest to finish off host Army’s come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Crusaders on “Derek Hines Night” at Tate Rink on Saturday night.
Army (7-12-3, 5-7-3 Atlantic Hockey) erased a two-goal deficit for the second consecutive night with three unanswered goals, this time sealing the deal with Gal’s game-winner.
Casey Bickley fired a pass from the top of the left faceoff circle across the slot where Gal was waiting unmarked at the corner of the crease. Gal deflected Bickley’s pinpoint helper into an empty net as Conway had no chance to recover.
With his team trailing, 2-0, six minutes into the second period, Black Knights’ head coach Brian Riley called timeout to rally the troops and remind them of the importance of Saturday’s game.
“We needed to create some energy at that point,” Riley said. “We knew we had half of the game left. We had to find a way to get the job done, and I think the players responded.”
Army scored three minutes after the timeout with Chase Podsiad finally breaking through against Holy Cross (12-6-1, 9-4-1). Six minutes later, Tim Manthey knotted the score, and that’s the way the middle frame ended.
The Crusaders jumped out to a 2-0 lead with an even-strength goal by Marty Dams at 2:36 of the second period. Dale Reinhardt doubled the advantage at 6:09 with Holy Cross on the power play.
Brad Roberts made 29 saves in goal for Army. Conway was credited with 23 stops in a losing effort.
With the win, Army split its weekend series against second-place Holy Cross. The Black Knights have picked up six points in the Atlantic Hockey standings over the past two weeks, while playing the top two schools in the league.
Despite trailing by two goals midway through the contest, Army seemed destined to win one for their fallen comrade, former team captain Derek Hines, who was killed in action on Sept. 1, 2005 in Afghanistan.
“This win was big for a lot of reasons,” Riley said. “I told the guys that you will only have one opportunity to play on ‘Derek Hines Night’. Now we can all look back fondly on this game and know that we came away with a ‘W’.”