COLUMBUS, Ohio Army won the consolation game of the fifth-annual Ohio Hockey Classic Saturday night in Value City Arena, defeating No. 2-ranked Miami, 3-2. Black Knight goaltender Jay Clark made 56 saves, an OHC single game record, and Cody Omilusik and Eric Sefchik added a pair of shorthanded goals to edge the RedHawks who dropped a 4-2 decision to Clarkson Friday. Army now is 5-12-1 on the year. Miami drops to 12-5-3.
After skating through a scoreless first period, Army was the first to strike as senior Will Ryan chipped the puck in to sophomore Cody Omilusik at the top of the crease where he beat Miami goaltender Knapp over his left shoulder to tally a shorthanded goal 1:57 into the second. Omilusik added another goal to give the Black Knights a 2-0 lead at 11:39 as he and linemate Owen Meyer crashed the RedHawk net on a 2-on-1, scoring glove side. Miami, who had a 19-9 shot advantage in the second period, cut the lead to one as Andy Miele beat Army sophomore Jay Clark, sending the puck over his right shoulder. Sophomore Justin Vaive and junior Gary Steffes had the first and second assists, respectively. After stopping 15 Miami shots in the first period, Clark made 18 saves in the second. In front of MU’s net, Knapp made five and seven stops in the first and second stanza, respectively.
Miami junior Jarod Palmer tied the game with an even-strength goal at 4:21 of the third but Army quickly answered with its second shorthanded goal just 50 seconds later. Palmer, a Fridley, Minn., native, scored from the top of the crease blocker side. Brookyln, Ohio, native Eric Sefchik gave the Black Knights the lead at 5:11 with an unassisted goal that beat Knapp top shelf stick side.
Neither team was able to score on the power play in the game. Miami was 0-for-7 and Army was 0-for-6.
Brian Riley, Army head coach
On goaltender Jay Clark
“We talked about being in the situation to defeat a ranked team and it was a special moment. We did that tonight. Clarky (Jay Clark) had a great game. It was probably the greatest game I have seen a goalie play since I came here.”
On Army’s power-kill unit
“I was proud of our power kill unit. Miami has a skilled group of people. Our team did a great job tonight and it started with Clark in goal.”
On preparing for the game vs. Miami
“We knew it was not our game to lose. The pressure was on them. They were tough. We planned to make this a 20-minute game and it worked in our favor.”
Jay Clark, Army sophomore goaltender
On playing No. 2 Miami
“I felt every period was a challenge. Every moment was very stressful. I knew Miami could pull out anything. I would break down the time 5 minutes at a time. We just had to take little bites out of the game. Toward the end of the game the clock moved slower, but it finally went down.”
On defeating No. 2 Miami
“It was definitely one of my greatest hockey moments, especially in college hockey. Maybe not in youth hockey, but it was the biggest achievement in my career.”
Cody Omilusik, sophomore right wing
On defeating No. 2 Miami
“We were able to play the No. 2 ranked team. Especially in the Atlantic Conference you don’t always have the opportunity to play teams with this high of caliber. This is something I won’t forget.”
Enrico Blasi, Miami head coach
On the game
“I give credit to Army, they made the most of their chances. We were sloppy on the power play and they took advantage of it. I said from the beginning our team is a work in progress. We’re still a very young team and we’re going to make mistakes. Some of the mistakes go in your favor and some of them don’t.”
On Jay Clark, Army’s sophomore goalie
“He did a great job. Anytime you can make 56 saves in one game, you did a good job.”