U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force and Army skated to a 3-3 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Cadet Ice Arena. Army remained in second place in the league with 17 points, 7-10-3 overall and 7-5-3 in the AHA Air Force is in seventh place in the league with 13 points, 7-9-5 overall and 5-5-3 in the conference.
Midway through the first period, Army took a 1-0 lead as Thane Heller scored on the power play at 7:14. Josh Richards made a pass from the behind the net and Heller scored his seventh of the season with three seconds remaining on the power play. Air Force tied the game early in the second period when John Kruse scored his sixth of the season. Mike McDonald took a shot from the point that was knocked down in front. Tony Thomas pushed the puck out of the pile to Kruse below the goal line on the right side. Kruse fired a shot off the goalie that went in at the 1:14 mark. Army then scored two goals in a span of 48 seconds early in the second period. Zak Zaremba scored at 4:45 on a rebound right in front. Josh Roberts then created a turnover on the forecheck and fed Andrew O'Leary in the slot. His one-timer gave Army a 3-1 lead at 5:33. Falcon senior defenseman Eric Artman took a shot from the right point that bounced through bodies in front and went in at 7:08. Ryan Timar and Casey Kleisinger assisted on the play that cut the Army lead to 3-2.
Kyle De Laurell's fourth goal of the weekend tied the game at 3-3 with power-play goal at the 3:24 mark of the third period. After De Laurell won a faceoff in the offensive zone, Adam McKenzie passed the puck across to Stephen Carew at the right point. His shot was tipped in front by De Laurell and then the senior pushed the rebound through five-hole to tie the game.
In overtime, Air Force outshot Army, 5-1. In the final 10 seconds, De Laurell forced a turnover behind the Army net and sent the puck out front. Army goalie Rob Tadazak made two saves on Cole Gunner and Stephen Carew right before the horn sounded to end the game.
Air Force outshot Army, 45-30, in the game. AFA was 1-for-3 on the power play while Army was 1-for-2. Jason Torf made 27 saves for the Falcons while Tadazak made 42 for the Black Knights.
"It didn't look good for the Falcons when we were down 3-1, but we showed some resiliency coming back," head coach Frank Serratore said. "Our even-strength defense needs to get better, but Torf was there to bail us out when we dropped a bomb. We gave them a couple of easy even-strength chances. Our penalty kill was pretty good and when we needed our power-play to score for us, they did in the third."
Air Force is on the road next weekend with a two-game series at Sacred Heart, Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 19-20. Saturday's faceoff is at 4:05 p.m. ET while Sunday's game starts at 12:05 p.m. ET. Both games will be played at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn.