Despite a strong effort from goalie Max Edelmann in his first game of the season, Rutgers was unable to produce enough offense to avenge last season’s defeat to Army. Instead, the Cadets left Piscataway with a one goal victory and dropped the Scarlet Knights to 2-1 on the young season.
Army jumped out to leads of 5-2 and 7-3 before Rutgers cut the lead to just one goal after finishing the first half with three consecutive scores. It was a tie game in the fourth quarter, but the Scarlet Knights couldn’t establish a lead of their own after holding early 2-1 advantage.
Both teams took 40 shots in the game but Army held a 27-22 advantage with shots on goal. Rutgers committed 20 turnovers to just 12 from Army. The Scarlet Knights held a 13-10 edge in faceoffs, despite Connor Harryman missing the game due to injury. There is no precise timetable for his return.
Kieran Mullins scored three goals in the game and Adam Charalambides had two scores and one assist, including this brilliant goal to tie the game at 9 with just over 10 minutes left in the contest.
Army’s Brendan Nichtern scored the game winner with 3:54 to play. He led the Black Knights with three scores and one assist.
Edelmann made 17 saves for Rutgers after sitting out the first two games of the season with an injury. His return is hugely important to the long term success of this team and it was great to see him deliver such a strong performance, despite the defeat.
Still, this is a disappointing loss for Rutgers. After producing a 30-15 record the previous three seasons, they’ve failed to make the NCAA Tournament in part to losses against opponents they are ranked above.
There is still plenty of season to play and ultimately how Rutgers fares in Big Ten play will determine its postseason fate. Hopefully, this defeat doesn’t haunt this team in mid-May. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as No. 2 Loyola visits Rutgers next Saturday at 2 p.m. The Greyhounds defeated then no. 6 Virginia last week 17-9.