U.S AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - AIC senior Richard Leitner scored 18 seconds into overtime as the Yellow Jackets beat Air Force, 2-1, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena. Air Force's seven-game unbeaten streak, the second-longest in the nation, ended as the Falcons fell to 11-10-6 overall and 9-6-4 in the AHA. AIC improved to 6-14-5 overall and 3-11-5 in the league. Air Force remains in second place in the AHA while AIC is in 11th.
In the first 12 minutes of the first period, Air Force outshot AIC, 7-0. However, AIC went on the power play and scored on its second shot on goal. Richard Leitner and Chris Porter cycled the puck along the boards on the right side and sent the puck out to Alexander MacMillan in the circle. His wrister went high, glove side, for a 1-0 lead at the 11:32 mark.
Falcon junior Ryan Timar tied the game at 8:12 of the second period. Defenseman Eric Artman created a turnover in the neutral zone and chipped the puck off the wall. Timar skated down the right side and took a shot that hit the far post. The puck then bounced off the back of goalie Ben Meisner and slid over the goal line for Timar's sixth of the season.
Neither team scored in the third period as the game went into overtime tied 1-1. Early in overtime, Air Force won a faceoff in the defensive zone, but turned the puck over behind the net. Adam Pleskach sent the puck up the boards to Jeff Cecacci at the left point. His shot was saved by Jason Torf, but Leitner cleaned up the rebound for his eighth goal of the season.
Air Force outshot AIC, 39-26, in the game. Meisner made 38 saves for the Yellow Jackets and had 88 saves in the series. Torf made 24 stops for the Falcons. AIC was 1-for-3 on the power play while AFA was 0-for-4.
"Give AIC credit, they had a game plan and executed it very well," head coach Frank Serratore said. "They punched us in the mouth. In games like this, you have to get the lead and you have to get something from your power play. We didn't score a power-play goal all weekend. We only scored three goals in the series. This is a giant slice of humble pie for us. They beat us. No excuses."
Air Force travels to Erie, Pa., next weekend for a two-game AHA series with second-place Mercyhurst, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 8-9, at 7 p.m. ET each night.
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