U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Stephen Carew scored 61 seconds into overtime as Air Force beat RIT, 3-2, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.
With the win, Air Force ended its four-game losing streak and improved to 4-7-3 overall and 3-4-1 in the AHA. RIT is winless in its last six games and fell to 2-8-3 overall and 1-5-2 in the league.
In overtime, Dan Weissenhofer controlled the puck in the Air Force end and sent a pass up to Mike Walsh in the neutral zone. Walsh touched it to Carew on the left side and the senior team captain skated around the net. After a collision near the far post with an RIT defenseman, Carew fired a wrister through the five-hole for his second career game-winner.
RIT opened the scoring at the 14:21 mark when Brad Shumway skated down the center of the ice and around several Falcons. Shumway dropped the puck to Andrew Miller who ripped a wrister over the pad of Jason Torf for a 1-0 lead.
Twelve seconds into the second period, Air Force went on the power play, but it was RIT that scored. Brad Reid scored short-handed from Matt Garbowsky for a 2-0 lead. Following the goal, RIT's Alexander Kuqali was called for a five-minute major for checking from behind and the Falcons had 48 seconds of 5-on-3 followed by the major. Near the end of the major, a slashing call on Nolan Descoteaux gave the Falcons two minutes of 5-on-3, but the Falcons were unable to score. Air Force got on the board with an even-strength goal by Scott Holm at 14:47 of the second period. Holm forced a turnover on the forecheck and then got the puck back from linemates Jason Fabian and Ben Persian. The sophomore winger then stuffed the puck under the pads of Josh Watson to make the score 2-1. A minute later, RIT's Adam Hartley was called for a major for checking from behind and the Falcons were back on the power play. Ben Carey and Cole Gunner cycled the puck behind the net and gave it to Tony Thomas. Thomas walked out and his first shot was saved, but he poked the puck loose from Watson's pads and it trickled over the goal line at 16:44.The goal was his fourth of the season and second on the power play.
Neither team scored in the third period, setting up Carew's game-winner in overtime. It was Air Force's first overtime win of the year and first since beating Niagara at home early last season.
Air Force outshot RIT, 27-24, in the game. The Falcons had a 22-13 advantage in the final two periods and overtime. AFA was 1-for-9 on the power play while RIT was 0-for-2. Watson made 24 saves for the Tigers while Jason Torf made 22 for AFA. "We found a way to win an ugly game tonight," head coach Frank Serratore said. "This one was painful to watch. We still have some things to repair in our game. I want to see the enthusiasm of our team return. We needed to end this losing and now we can exhale a little bit. But just a little bit."
Air Force travels to Waltham, Mass., for a two-game Atlantic Hockey series against the Bentley Falcons, Friday-Saturday, Dec. 7-8, at 7:05 p.m. ET at the John A. Ryan Center.