THE WEST POINT GAME
The U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, has produced some of this country’s strongest and most successful leaders. When Vincent Viola (USMA ’77) became the Panthers owner in 2013, he made a point of bringing values from his West Point training and military career to the franchise. Teamwork, courage, sacrifice and hard-earned skill — all of which are emphasized at West Point — are crucial components of a successful hockey team and Panthers players have participated in a number of team-building exercises at the Academy over the years. In October 2016 the Panthers met the New Jersey Devils for a preseason game at Tate Rink on the grounds of the Academy, playing in likely the first-ever NHL game of any kind held on a U.S. military base. The team’s final tune-up before the regular season renewed their commitment not only to excellent hockey, but also to the values that got them there.