A visit by NCAA tourney participant Boston College highlights three visits by Hockey East squads to West Point’s Tate Rink for 2015-16. Plus, Army will play a Sunday morning contest against Bentley at the Islanders’ new home, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on Nov. 1.
Army also announced nine incoming freshmen, including a Boston University transfer. Five underclassmen from last season are no longer on the roster, notably forwards Joe Llaurado and Andy Faust.
The Black Knights will open their season on Oct. 9 against Boston College, the runner-up in the Hockey East and a 5-2 loser to Denver in the NCAA East Regional. It will be B.C.’s first visit to West Point since Oct. 22, 1994. Army lost at Boston College, 11-0, in Nov. 2013.
Former Army head coach Rob Riley played for the Eagles and graduated in 1978.
Army will host Merrimack on Dec. 29 and Massachusetts on Jan. 2. Merrimack finished 11th in Hockey East and UMass was 12th. Army visits Connecticut, which placed ninth, on Nov. 10.
The only other non-league game will be a visit to Canada’s Royal Military College on Jan. 23.
The start of the schedule is not exactly kind for Army with a tough row of opponents. The Black Knights play Atlantic Hockey finalist Mercyhurst, featuring all-rookie team selection Jack Riley of West Point, on Oct. 23-24, and the Lakers visit Tate Rink on Feb. 19-20. Playoff champion and NCAA Elite Eight team Rochester Institute of Technology visits on Nov. 6-7. Regular-season champ Robert Morris visits Nov. 20-21.
Dalton MacAfee played 31 games for Boston University in 2013-14 and produced 20 points in 40 games as captain for the South Shore Kings of the United States Premier Hockey League last season. Tommy Besinger also played for South Shore, posting 79 points over two all-star seasons. Trevor Fidler played for South Shore in 2013-14, recording 28 points in 33 games. He split last season between Vernon of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), with 20 points in 30 games, and 15 points in 12 games with South Shore. Defenseman Nash Worden played three seasons for the Omaha Lancers in the U.S. Hockey League, recording eight goals and 19 assists.
Tipper Higgins had 11 goals and five assists in 12 playoff games with the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL. He had 37 points in 58 regular-season games. Taylor Maruya was the rookie of the year for the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks in 2013-14, scoring eight goals and adding 16 assists.
Ian Mansfield won the Robertson Cup with the Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League, where he produced 14 goals and 20 assists over 43 regular-season and playoff games.
Matt Penta played 36 games in goal for the Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and was a 2012 all-star in the Eastern Junior Hockey League. Ian Murdoch played two seasons for Culver Military Academy in Indiana.
Llaurado had three goals and two assists in 29 games for Army last season. Faust had two assists in 12 contests. Kyle Vogel last saw action in 2013-14 with 12 games and one tally. Little-used forward James McNulty is gone, as is goaltender Dan Curran, who played 32 seconds.