Air Force blanks RIT, 2-0, for fifth straight win

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U.S AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Jason Torf made a season high 39 saves as Air Force blanked RIT, 2-0, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Friday, Nov. 1, at Ritter Arena in Rochester, N.Y. The shutout for Torf was the 10th of his career and the fourth or his career against RIT. Air Force extended its winning streak to five games as the Falcons improved to 5-2-0 overall and 3-0-0 in the AHA. RIT fell to 0-4-2 overall and 0-1-1 in the league.

Air Force opened the scoring at the 7:11 mark of the first period. George Michalke III started the rush through the neutral zone and raced down the right wing. Michalke’s centering pass was tipped in front by Ben Carey for a 1-0 lead. Carey’s second of the season was also his second in the last two games as defenseman Alex Halloran collected a helper on the play.

Early in the second period, Air Force built a 2-0 lead on the power play. Freshman A.J. Reid drew a penalty in his own zone and the Falcons capitalized. From the center point, Halloran sent the puck down low to Chad Demers on the goal line. Demers found Scott Holm in front who netted his third of the season at the 2:09 mark. RIT outshot Air Force, 17-8, in the period, but Torf stopped all 17.
In the third period, RIT outshot Air Force, 12-6, in third period and 29-14 in the final 40 minutes. The Tigers outshot the Falcons, 39-25, in the game. Torf made 39 saves, the third most of his career. Jordan Ruby had 23 for the Tigers. AFA was 1-for-4 on the power play while RIT was 0-for-3. The Falcon penalty kill held RIT’s power-play, ranked fifth in the nation, to just one power-play shot in almost six minutes of action.

“Jason Torf was terrific tonight and he needed to be,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “Torf was the best player on the ice by a country mile. Our even strength play was sloppy and we didn’t play a 200-foot game. We didn’t do a very good job of taking care of the puck, but our special teams were very good tonight and our goaltending was outstanding.”

Air Force concludes the road trip against the Mercyhurst Lakers on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:05 p.m. ET at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie. Pa.