Army’s Ken Rowe scored with 1:47 left in the third period as the Black Knights beat Air Force, 2-1, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Sunday, Jan. 27, at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y.
Air Force was swept for the first time all season and fell to 12-10-4 overall and 9-8-3 in the AHA. Army improved to 9-12-3 overall and 9-7-2 in the league. Air Force is tied for second place in the league with 21 points. Army jumped to fourth place with 20 points.
The game was scoreless for the first 40 minutes, but Army had a 25-18 advantage in shots on goal. The Falcons broke the tie 34 seconds into the third period when Jeff Hajner scored on the power play. Derrick Burnett made a centering pass from the corner and Hajner scored his ninth of the season. Army quickly answered at 2:18 when Will Ryan capitalized on a Falcon turnover. Lyle Gal collected a Falcon miscue and Ryan scored from the slot to tie the game.
With just under two minutes remaining in the third period, Cody Omilusik skated the puck down the left wing and sent a pass to the slot. Rowe beat the Falcon defense and tipped the puck past Andrew Volkening.
Air Force pulled its goalie with 1:40 remaining, but was unable to mount any offense with the extra skater on the ice.
Army out-shot Air Force in every period and had a 41-25 advantage in the game. The Black Knights outshot the Falcons, 16-7, in the final 20 minutes. AFA was 1-for-4 on the power play while Army was 0-for-5. Volkening made a career-high 39 saves for Air Force while Josh Kassel stopped 24 of 25 for the Black Knights.
“The way they played tonight, they were the best team we have played all season,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “They outplayed us in every aspect of the game. They were the stronger team. Their determination was outstanding. We had 25 shots in the game, but didn’t have much penetration in the game. We have scored three goals in our last three games and you aren’t going to win many games that way.”
Air Force returns home to host Bentley College, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 1-2, at the Air Force Academy’s Cadet Ice Arena.