Air Force beats UConn, 3-1, splits two-game series

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U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Three Falcons scored and Chris Truehl made 21 saves as Air Force beat UConn, 3-1, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Academy’s Cadet Ice Arena. The two teams split the two-game series. Air Force improved to 15-9-4 overall and 10-6-3 in the AHA and tied for fourth place. UConn fell to 13-8-4 overall and 11-5-3 and in third place in the league.
The Falcons opened the scoring at the 7:12 mark of the first period when Max Hartner forced a turnover behind the UConn net and then tried a wrap around that was saved. Freshman defenseman Johnny Hrabovsky put back the rebound for his second of the season. Late in the period, Air Force killed a UConn power play and on the ensuing shift, the Falcons’ top line scored. Chad Demers sent the puck up to the point and Cole Gunner’s shot was saved. Scott Holm put back the rebound for his second of the series and eighth of the season with 1:26 left in the first period.
Neither team scored in the second period, despite Air Force having a 13-4 shot advantage. Late in the period, a five-minute checking from behind penalty was called on Air Force’s Mitch Torrel. The Falcon penalty kill came up large, killing off the major and a minor early in the third period. Late in the third, UConn cut the Air Force lead to 2-1 when Ryan Tyson scored at 14:06. Jacob Poe took a shot from the right point and Tyson tipped it on the net. The puck snuck under the pads of Truehl and just barely slid over the goal line. Shortly after the goal, Max Hartner drew his third penalty of game, this one a holding call on Husky Jordan Sims. Air Force converted as Cole Gunner netted his team-leading 12th of the season. Chad Demers passed to the left point and Dan Weissenhofer took a shot that bounced off the back wall. Gunner collected the rebound on the right side and his shot caromed off the goaltender and into the net to make the score 3-1. With 1:45 left in the third period, the Huskies pulled the goaltender while on the power play and had a 6-on-4 advantage, but were unable to score.
Air Force outshot UConn, 29-22, in the game. AFA was 1-for-5 on the power play while UConn was 0-for-4. Truehl made 21 saves for AFA while Matt Grogan made 26 for the Huskies.
Air Force continues its four-game home stand as the league-leading Mercyhurst Lakers come to the Cadet Ice Arena, Feb. 7-8, at 7:05 p.m. MT each night.