Army vs. Notre Dame
April 13, 2002
The Game Story:
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army parlayed timely goal production from Jeff Bryan and Chris Woods, sterling faceoff play from Mike Kamon and solid goaltending by Dominik Nogic into a sparkling 11-8 upset of 20th-ranked Notre Dame Saturday afternoon at West Point's Shea Stadium.

With Nogic (14 saves) standing tall in the cage and Kamon totally dominating the faceoffs, Army (6-4) won its third straight game as Bryan and Woods each finished with three goals. Despite a four-goal effort from sophomore Dan Berger, Notre Dame (4-6) saw its three-game win streak come to a halt.

The win was Army's first over a ranked opponent in four tries this season, and marks the first time an unranked Black Knight unit downed a ranked foe since the squad's 9-5 victory over then-15th-ranked UMBC last April 21.

Army built an 11-6 lead entering the final quarter and then withstood Notre Dame's attempted rally. The Black Knights committed three one-minute penalties in the final stanza, but the Irish could convert just once. Notre Dame outshot its hosts 10-4 in the fourth quarter, but managed just two Berger goals.

The bulk of the Irish shots in the fourth did not find the net and Nogic was required to make just two saves in the period. However, his final stop seemed to take the steam out of the Irish. With Notre Dame on the man advantage and Army's 11-8 lead in jeopardy, Matt Malakoff fired from point-blank range with 3:56 left but Nogic got his shoulder on the ball to thwart Malakoff's attack.

Army head coach Jack Emmer cited his defensive unit's play in the fourth quarter, particularly the man-down unit, as one of the keys to the game. Notre Dame was just 2 of 6 on extra man situations, while Army was 1 of 2.

"We played good team defense, and great man-down defense, today," Emmer said. "We gave them one man-up goal in the fourth quarter, but on the whole we did a great job defensively. Offensively, we did not take good care of the ball in the fourth quarter, but I thought prior to that we were very efficient on offense."

Trailing 5-3 following a three-goal Irish outburst early in the second quarter, Army took command of the game by tallying the final five goals of the frame to carry an 8-5 cushion into the locker room. Bryan, who registered three goals and three assists in a mid-week win over Colgate, sparked his team's surge by participating in three successive Army scores during that run.

After Berger's initial goal put the Irish on top 5-3 with 6:34 left in the second, the Black Knights answered with three tallies in 56 seconds. Colin Burke began the run at 5:13, preceding a Bryan score at 4:33 that knotted the contest at 5-5. Sixteen seconds later, Bryan set up Jimmy Vlahakis on the crease, giving Army the lead for good. Bryan took care of the next tally himself, ripping a shot past Irish goalie Nick Antol with 1:02 left.

Kamon, who won 17 of his 21 faceoffs on the day, captured another draw and fed Tim Pearson for his lone goal of the afternoon just eight seconds later, sending Army into the break with a three-goal advantage. The Black Knights were an unblemished 9-for-9 on faceoffs in the second quarter, including eight wins by Kamon.

"I thought the game was decided with that five-goal run to end the second quarter. Faceoffs were clearly the difference today, and Mike Kamon was great in that area for us. We have three faceoff guys injured, and we needed Mike to step up, which he did. They had their top faceoff specialist injured as well, but Mike took advantage of the situation."

Berger scored with 9:56 left in the third to bring the Irish to within 8-6, but Army answered with three successive goals to end the third quarter. Jim Wagner, Woods (extra man) and Kamon scored in a span of 3:09 and Army appeared in command. Pearson set up both the Woods and Kamon tallies to finish the afternoon with three points.

Antol garnered eight saves in the opening three quarters before yielding to Stewart Crosland, who stopped one shot without a goal while barely being tested in the fourth. Notre Dame outshot Army 36-29, but Army held a 42-32 edge in ground balls and won 18 of 22 faceoffs.

In typical fashion, Army surrendered the game's first two goals, allowing Owen Asplundh and Travis Wells (extra man) to find the net in the game's opening 3:34. But, the hosts got on the board with Bryan's first tally at the 8:55 mark, which preceded successive goals from Woods at 7:01 and 4:14.

Army will travel to UMBC next Saturday, April 20, for a 1 p.m. contest.