Army faces season with big offensive holes to fill

The good news for Army coach Brian Riley is that he has 24 players back from last year’s squad. The bad news is that none of them is named Owen Meyer or Eric Sefchik.

Those two, along with now-senior Cody Omilusik, saw tons of ice time and racked up almost 50 percent of the Black Knights’ goals last season.

“I don’t know if you can replace guys like that,” Riley said. “They played in so many key situations. They’ll be obviously missed, but other guys are looking to step up and increase their roles.

“Omilusik had a great year and Mike Hull is a very good offensive player who’s ready to step up a little bit. Danny Colvin is ready to have a good year. Alvi [Marcel Alvarez] has shown he’s an all-star player.”

Goaltender Jay Clark is back for his senior season. Last year, Clark posted a 2.99 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage in 32 games.

“Obviously, Clark’s the guy,” Riley said. “But at some point you have to see what the other guys [sophomore Ryan Leets and freshman Anthony Cadieux] can do.”

Cadieux is among four new Army recruits. Also coming in are forwards Mike Henderson and Brian Schultz as well as defenseman Dax Lauwers.

“Schultz is a hardworking, blue-collar guy, an energy guy,” Riley said. “Henderson has offensive skills, and we need to find offense this season. Lauwers is a big tough kid that will give us size.”

The Army schedule features 16 home games this season, including non-conference games with Colgate and Merrimack.

“We’re fortunate to play in one of the best arenas around in front of some of the best fans around,” Riley said.