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February 14th, 2009

Army Sweeps Weekend Series With Sacred Heart

WEST POINT Cody Omilusik, Zach McKelvie and Will Ryan all scored goals as Army again overcame an early deficit and beat Sacred Heart to sweep the weekend series

The Black Knights trailed 1-0 before scoring three second-period goals to post a 3-1 victory, Saturday night in a Valentine’s Day Atlantic Hockey Association contest at Tate Rink.

Army, which scored four second-period goals on Friday, swept a weekend series for the second time this season and improved to 3-0-1 in its last four games.

The Black Knights moved to 10-16-5 overall and jumped into sixth place in the conference standings with a 9-11-4 mark.

Sacred Heart dropped to 7-19-4 overall and 7-14-3 in league competition.

McKelvie scored a goal for the third straight game, Ryan netted a short-handed score and Omilusik added an insurance tally to help Army win the season series with Sacred Heart 3-0-1.  Joey Ammon and Eric Sefchik earned assists.

“We told the guys coming into this weekend, we can only control how we play,” said Army head coach Brian Riley. “Our main focus was to earn points this weekend because we have no control over what the other teams do.”

Army goalie Jay Clark, the reigning Atlantic Hockey Association Goalie of the week, won his eighth game of the season by making 34 saves.

“Clark is definitely playing with a lot of confidence,” said Riley. “I have been saying all along I like our goaltending situation with three guys who can play but Clark is playing well and with a lot of confidence and that is a great thing to have.”

For the second consecutive night, Sacred Heart went on top. Saturday, it was a minute into the second period when Erik Boisvert scored his 12th goal of the season.

Army answered six minutes later with Ryan’s second goal of the season to tie the game. Ammon picked up the puck near the opposite blue line and fed Ryan who netted Army’s ninth short-handed goal of the season.

“You don’t want to be killing penalties all the time but this season we have been able to generate some goals short-handed,” said Riley. “I think a lot of it has to do with the speed of the guys on the ice.”

The Black Knights took their first lead on McKelvie’s third straight game with a goal. The senior captain blocked a shot, corralled the puck and fired in a shot from outside the blue line for a 2-1 Army advantage midway through the second period.

“The team is battling hard,” said Riley. “We overcame some adversity but now you can see the guys playing with confidence.”
Omilusik stretched the Army lead to two goals with his 13th tally of the season. Taking a pass from Sefchik, who was behind the net, Omilusik extended the Army lead to 3-1 with his wrister after Owen Meyer helped force a turnover.

That was all the offense Clark would need. The sophomore from Baudette, Minn., made 15 saves in the first period, 10 in the second and nine in the final period to improve to 8-6-4 this season.

Army will host RIT in a two-game series at Tate Rink Feb. 20-21. Both games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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