De Laurell nets hat trick as Air Force beat Army, 4-1

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Senior Kyle De Laurell scored his second career hat trick as Air Force beat Army, 4-1,in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Jan. 11, at a sold out Cadet Ice Arena. Air Force improved to 7-9-4 overall and 5-5-2 in the AHA. Army fell to 7-10-2 and 7-5-2 in the league.

Army outshot Air Force, 4-0, in the first four minutes of the game. But it was Air Force that opened the scoring at the 8:29 mark. Ben Carey made a pass from behind the net and Scott Holm’s shot was saved. Ben Persian punched in the rebound for his season. In the second period, Air Force scored two goals in the final six minutes of the period and both were redirects from Kyle De Laurell. The first goal came at 14:39 on a 5-on-3 power play. Tony Thomas fed Stephen Carew at the center point and his shot was tipped in by De Laurell. With 1:27 remaining in the second period, Carew slid the puck up to Mike Walsh at the right point and his shot was redirected in front by De Laurell for a 3-0 lead.

Late in the third period, De Laurell netted his third of the game, seventh of the season, on the power play. John Kruse made a pass from the left point off the back wall to Tony Thomas on the weak side. Thomas slid the puck across the top of the crease to De Laurell on the back door. His goal gave the Falcons a 4-0 lead at 15:31. Thirty seconds later, the Black Knights broke up the Falcons’ bid for a shutout. With 3:57 remaining, Army’s Shane Hearn fired a wrister from the left circle that hit goaltender Jason Torf. However, the puck came free and rolled into the net. Hearn’s fourth of the season was assisted by Mac Lalor and cut the Falcon lead to 4-1.

Air Force outshot Army, 36-27, in the game. AFA was 2-for-6 on the power play while Army was 0-for-4. Torf made 26 saves for the Falcons while Ryan Leets made 32 for Army.

Air Force and Army conclude the two-game Atlantic Hockey Association series on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 4:05 p.m. MT. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.