By Ryan Yanoshak, Army Athletic CommunicationsJanuary 30, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. (Jan. 31, 2013) -- Freshman forward Thane Heller scored twice and senior goaltender Ryan Leets turned away 12 shots as Army posted a 4-1 victory over the Royal Military College of Canada Jan. 26 in an exhibition game at a soldout Tate Rink.
A crowd of 2,629 was on hand for one of the top international rivalries in all of sports, the 77th meeting between Army and its Canadian brethren.
Heller helped Army to a 2-0 lead and then Leets did the rest much to the delight of the fifth sellout crowd of the season at Tate Rink.
Defensemen sophomore Maurice Alvarez and freshman Jonathan Gehrt also scored for Army and each had assists.
Leets made nine stops in the first two periods and then stopped three shots in the final period to secure the victory.
Army had the first power play opportunity of the game and while it had plenty of chances, the team came up empty.
The Black Knights did get on the scoreboard a few minutes later. Sophomore forward Josh Richards dug the puck out of the corner to Heller in front of the net.
Heller took a shot which was knocked into the RMC goal by one its players. Heller, the last Army player to touch the puck, was credited with his ninth goal this season six minutes into the period. It also marked the fourth straight game that Richards recorded a point.
Each team had a power play chance later in the period but the Black Knights led 1-0 and held a 12-5 advantage in shots on goal.
Army extended its lead to 2-0 midway through the second period with a power play score.
Sophomore defenseman Mac Lalor cycled the puck to Alvarez who fired a shot. Heller pounced on the rebound for his first career two-goal game.
The Black Knights continued to apply the offensive pressure and outshot the Paladins 29-9 through the first 40 minutes.
RMC scored midway through the final period when Colin Cook beat Leets with 10:14 left to play.
Alvarez put Army back on top by two goals, scoring from in front of the net. Gehrt and freshman forward Shane Hearn were credited with the assists with under seven minutes left to play.
Gehrt closed the scoring with less than two minutes remaining, scoring on the power play with assists to freshman defenseman Luke Jenkins and senior forward Andy Starczewski.