Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Honored to Visit, Play at West Point

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Honored to Visit, Play at West Point

Article excerpt

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Kyle Palmieri doesn't necessarily remember much about the first time he played at intimate Tate Rink at the U.S. Military Academy. He was just a squirt player - 10-and-under - and faceoff was around the time the sun was rising so he slept for most of the drive north from his home in Montvale.

But there will be lasting memories for Palmieri and his Devils teammates despite a 4-2 loss to the Panthers on Saturday night on the West Point campus in their preseason finale in front of a sellout crowd of 2,615.

"For me, it's awesome; I have a lot of family in the military so that has a special place with me," said Palmieri, whose has one sister, Taylor, in the National Guard, a second sister, Tahrin, married to an Army Ranger and cousins also serving. "Anytime you get to be around soldiers and people who give up so much for us, it's a huge honor. It's such a little 'thank you' we can give back to them."

The Panthers, whose owner/chairman Vincent Viola and president/ CEO Matt Caldwell are West Point graduates, were the home team. They will be again Thursday in Sunrise, Fla,. when they host the Devils in the regular-season opener.

The Devils arrived about four hours before the 7:30 p.m. faceoff to tour the facilities and meet with the Army-West Point hockey team. They also shared a postgame meal with the cadets.

"As an American, it's really special," defenseman John Moore said. "It goes without saying, the selflessness of these people, sacrificing their lives, putting their lives on the line for us."

Moore, born in Winnetka, Ill., actually visited the West Point campus in his first professional season in 2010-11, brought by his coach at Springfield (AHL), Rob Riley.

Riley had succeeded his father, Jack, as Army-West Point's coach and was, in turn, succeeded by his brother, current coach Brian Riley, who addressed the Devils before Saturday's game. …

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