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February 6th, 2009

Four Goal Scorers Halt Army Skid

WEST POINTJoey Ammon had a goal and two assists, Matt Hickey dished out two assists and Mark Tilch scored his first career goal to help Army halt a six-game unbeaten streak with a 4-1 victory over Canisius, Friday night in an Atlantic Hockey Association matchup at Tate Rink.

Four different players scored goals for Army as the Black Knights snapped a four-game losing streak in front of 2,468 fans.

Tilch, Ammon, Mike Hull and Eric Sefchik scored goals for Army which improved to 8-16-3 overall and 7-11-3 in conference competition.

“We have been dealing with some adversity and it was nice to go in the locker room and see the smiles,” said Army head coach Brian Riley. “The guys have been working extremely hard and it was nice to see them rewarded. Canisius is a very good team.”

Army goalie Jay Clark made double digit saves in each period and finished with 34 to win his sixth game of the season.

Canisius fell to 11-11-5 overall and 9-9-3 in league games and saw its three-game unbeaten streak come to an end. Goalie Dan Morrison made 33 saves.

Ammon, a sophomore, scored a short-handed goal in the second while Tilch and Sefchik added insurance goals. Hull opened the scoring in the first period. Will Ryan, Owen Meyer and Cody Omilusik also registered assists.

“That’s one of the things we have talked about, getting scoring opportunities five-on-five,” said Riley. “For us to be successful, we need to get pucks on net and get some rebounds to score some goals.”

Army opened the scoring in the first period, keeping the pressure on Morrison. Hickey, playing in his 100th career game, registered two shots on goal and then Hull followed his second shot by scoring his fourth goal of the season. Ammon started the play in the other end for his fourth assist of the season. It was Hickey’s sixth assist and gave Army a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the game.

The Black Knights made it a 2-0 game early in the second period on Ammon’s short-handed tally. Ryan kept the play alive, battling for the puck near the crease. Ammon corralled the puck, skated behind the goalie and pounded in the wraparound for his fifth goal of the season five minutes into the period. It was Ammon’s second career multiple-point game.

Canisius, still on the power play, got on the board 90 seconds later on Dave Kostuch’s 17th goal of the season.

Tilch gave Army a two-goal cushion with his first goal with six minutes left in the period. Hickey moved the puck up ice to Ammon, who fed the senior defenseman. Tilch fired top shelf – just as he signs off each of his diary entries on the Army website – for a 3-1 Army lead.  It marked Hickey’s second career multiple-point game this season and of his career.

That was all Clark would need. The sophomore from Minnesota made 10 saves in the first, 13 in the second and 11 in the final period to even his season mark at 6-6-3.

“Jay made some big saves against a very good team,” said Riley. “He had a save in the second period where it looked like Canisius had their sticks already raised (in celebration). He gave us an opportunity to win by making some big saves.”

Sefchik closed the scoring in the final period with his eighth goal of the season. Crisp passing from Meyer and Omilusik gave Army a three-goal advantage.

Army and Canisius will conclude the season series Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Tate Rink.
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