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WEST POINT – With two goals apiece coming from Brett Abdelnour and Thomas Farrell, the Army West Point hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to eight games with an impressive 5-1 win over Bentley on Saturday night at Tate Rink.
Army is letting the nation take notice with a 7-0-1 record in its last eight games and the Black Knights have earned league points in nine-consecutive contests. During the stretch, Army has not allowed more than two goals since January 16.
“What has been really neat during this stretch is seeing all the different people that are contributing, as far as scoring goals,” head coach Brian Riley said. “This team has just gained a lot of confidence and when we come to the rink now, our guys really expect to win.”
The Black Knights found the back of the net first in tonight’s win with 14:10 on the clock in the first period with Farrell scoring his second of the year on a rush up ice. Lincoln Hatten blocked a shot at the blue line and Daniel Haider collected the loose puck and skated through the neutral zone. He connected with Farrell and the defensemen went top shelf for the tally and a 1-0 lead.
The second period was a wild one as Army took a 4-1 lead into the final frame. Bentley tied the game with 11:32 left with Brendan Hamlet scoring with assists to Jakov Novak and Brendan Walkom.
Colin Bilek answered Bentley’s goal 29 seconds later to put Army back on top. Mason Krueger scooped up a loose puck in front of Trevin Kozlowski and took off on the break. He slid the puck over to Mitch Machlitt along the left side boards in the Bentley zone and Bilek was the trailer on the play. Machlitt connected with Bilek, who was wide open and he beat Fraser Kirk to regain the lead.
Army scored its third of the night off a faceoff in the offensive zone to make it 3-1 with 8:54 remaining in the second period. Eric Butte won the faceoff towards the goaltender and Abdelnour helped it along and between the pads for his first goal of the season.
Farrell continued his career night with his second tally on a beautiful one-timer from the left dot. John Laurito got a drop pass from Hatten and slid the puck cross-ice to Farrell and he let one loose to make it 4-1 Black Knights in the last moments of the second period.
“I’ve got to say I don’t remember the last time I scored two in one night, but I definitely don’t remember being on a team that’s won eight in a row the way we have,” Farrell said after the game. “This is a really special group of guys and I’m looking forward to what this team has to offer moving into the tail end of the season.”
Army lit the lamp for the final time on the night with Abdelnour scoring his second of night as well. The goal came on the power play with an assist to Hatten and Matt Berkovitz.
Abdelnour was all alone in front from Hatten took a shot from the left circle and he collected the rebound and hit the open net for his first career multi-goal game.
The Black Knights were 1-for-6 on the power play and kept Bentley off the board on just one chance. Kozlowski made 21 saves in net to earn his ninth win of the season.