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January 10th, 2009

Army Sweeps Mercyhurst

Owen Meyer. Photo: AAC
WEST POINTOwen Meyer had an assist and scored two goals, including the game-winner late in the third period, as Army beat Mercyhurst, 4-3, Saturday night in an Atlantic Hockey Association matchup at Tate Rink.

Meyer scored his second consecutive game-winning goal to help Army sweep the weekend series with the Lakers.

More than 1,000 fans braved the heavy snow in the West Point, N.Y. area, for a game that was broadcast live on the CBS College Sports Network.

Eric Sefchik had a goal and three assists, Cody Omilusik had two assists and Scott Warner had a goal and an assist as Army improved to 7-12-1 overall and 6-7-1 in conference games.

Mercyhurst, which tied the game with under five minutes in the game, fell to 7-12-2 and 5-6-2 in league games.

“What a great weekend for college hockey,” said Army head coach Brian Riley. “Both teams battled and  played extremely hard.”

Army goalie Jay Clark made 25 saves and helped Army sweep a weekend series for the first time this season and also win its third straight game.

“All we ask of our goalies is that they give us a chance to win,” said Riley. “And Clark certainly did that tonight. He made some big saves and kept us in the game. I’ve said this before, but I really like our goaltending situation with three goalies.”

Sefchik notched his career high in points and Omilusik reached double digits in points for third straight time as Army split the season series with Mercyhurst as each team won both games on its home rink.

For the second consecutive night, Mercyhurst jumped out to a first-period lead. Derek Elliott followed his own shot and snuck it past Clark for a 1-0 lead with four minutes left in the first period.

And for the second consecutive night, Army responded with two second-period goals for a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Warner tied the game, seven minutes into the second period, with his fifth goal of the season. With a Mercyhurst player in the penalty box, Warner scored off a double assist from Meyer and Sefchik.

Late in the second period, Army took its first lead. Warner forced a turnover in the Mercyhurst end and found Sefchik who buried the breakaway chance with just 36 seconds left in the period.

Army extended its advantage to 3-1 when Meyer scored his first goal of the game, taking advantage of great puck movement from Sefchik and Omilusik for his 10th goal of the season.

“Owen is one of those players who can take control of a game by himself,” said Riley. “He can make something of nothing and came through for us tonight.”
The Lakers cut the deficit to one on Chris Risi’s third goal of the season and tied the game when Phil Ginand scored on the power play with 3:27 remaining in the contest.

Meyer came through nearly two minutes later with his second game-winning goal of the seasons. His linemates, Sefchik and Omilusik, again earned the assists.

Clark withstood a late flurry from the Lakers to improve to 5-4-1 in net this season.

Army will continue conference play at Tate Rink against Holy Cross with a Saturday-Sunday series to accommodate television. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. while Sunday’s contest is set for a 4:05 p.m. face-off on ESPNU.

“Every week is a new challenge,” said Riley. “We will enjoy this win today and tomorrow and then have to get ready for Holy Cross. There are no easy weekends.”
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