All four of Air Force’s lines scored as the 13th-ranked Falcons defeated Holy Cross, 5-1, an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass.
Air Force remained perfect on the season at 10-0-0 overall and 8-0-0 and in first place in the AHA. Air Force remains the only unbeaten and untied team in the nation. The 10-0 start is the best in school history. Air Force also set a new school record with six straight road wins. Holy Cross fell to 2-6-1 overall and 2-4-1 in the league.
Air Force scored first for the ninth time in 10 games this season as Sean Bertsch gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead at the 13:02 mark of the first period. Early in the second period, Holy Cross had 1:55 of a two-man advantage and capitalized as Ryan Driscoll scored a power-play goal at 1:49.
The Falcons answered with two power-play goals midway through the second period. Brett Nylander, who missed five games with a knee injury, returned to the lineup and scored a power-play goal at 9:22 of the second period. Greg Flynn took a shot from the point and Nylander put back the rebound for his first goal of the season. Less than four minutes later, the Falcons took a 3-1 lead with a power-play goal by Matt Fairchild. Derrick Burnett made a centering pass from behind the net and Fairchild buried his third of the season. Jeff Hajner assisted on both power-play goals in the period. Late in the period, the Falcon penalty kill came through as Holy Cross had full two-minute, 5-on-3 advantage. Not only did Air Force not give up a goal, the Falcons allowed just one shot on goal.
Josh Frider’s eighth of the season gave Air Force a 4-1 lead at the 8:35 mark of the third period. Blake Page won a battle on the boards and started a two-on-one breakaway as he found Scott Kozlak. Kozlak skated down the right side and found a wide open Frider coming down the slot for a three-goal lead. With 1:47 left, Page scored an empty-net goal to make the final score 5-1.
Air Force outshot Holy Cross, 44-26, in the game. Andrew Volkening made 25 saves in the game. The only goal he allowed was a 5-on-3 power play marker. Adam Roy made 39 saves for the Crusaders. Air Force was 2-for-6 on the power play while Holy Cross was 1-for-7.
“We have a team that is a team in the true sense of the word,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “When we play our game well, we wear people down and I think we did that again tonight. This is a fun and exciting time for us and our locker room is full of energy. We were wondering how we would come back after the off week and I think we know the answer now. Our special teams were very good.”
The Falcons return home Nov. 21-22 to host a two-game series with Sacred Heart at the Cadet Ice Arena