WEST POINT, N.Y. — Brad Roberts made 23 saves, earning his fifth shutout of the season as Army cruised to a 4-0 blanking of visiting Sacred Heart before 2,047 fans at West Point’s Tate Rink.
Army (10-13-5, 8-8-5 Atlantic Hockey) opened up a three-point lead for fourth place in the league standings thanks to Holy Cross’ 2-1 victory over fifth-place Bentley in the only other AHA contest played Friday night. Sacred Heart (16-10-1, 13-7-1) falls out of a tie for second place with Holy Cross and into third, while the Crusaders slide past idle Mercyhurst and into first place in the league standings.
The Black Knights, 6-2-2 since the new year began, received goals from four different players and Roberts continued his hot streak between the pipes. Roberts’ five shutouts on the season tie him for second in the NCAA this winter with Boston College’s Cory Schneider and Union’s Kris Mayotte. It marks his ninth career blanking, which moves him into second place all-time behind only Daryl Chamberlain’s 15.
Four of Roberts’ five shutouts have come against league opponents. His five blankings are a new Atlantic Hockey single-season record as are his nine career shutouts.
After a scoreless first period, Chris Migliaro finally broke the hosts into the scoring column when he poked home a loose puck lying on the doorstep just 33 seconds into the second period.
At the 6:39 mark, Brady Dolim took a feed from Bryce Hollweg and skated in all alone shorthanded on Pioneers’ netminder Jason Smith, lifting a backhand past his blocker to make it 2-0.
Robb Ross increased the advantage to three just over two minutes into the third period, and Chase Podsiad ripped a wrister into the top right corner of the goal from the left faceoff circle eight minutes later, beating Smith cleanly on the play, to close out the scoring.
Roberts’ 23 saves gives him 2,775 for his career, 83 shy of the school’s all-time mark set by Tom Garver from 1973-77. The senior from Cassville, N.Y., holds nine Academy records and two league marks.
Army and Sacred Heart battle again Saturday night at the Milford Ice Pavilion in Milford, Conn. Game time is set for 7 p.m. The Black Knights hold a 2-1-0 advantage over the Pioneers in the season series. Army is 5-4-0 against the three teams ahead of them in the standings (Holy Cross, Mercyhurst, Sacred Heart) so far this year.