U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force freshman goaltender Chris Truehl posted his second shutout in the last five games and four different Falcons scored as Air Force blanked Sacred Heart, 4-0, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Cadet Ice Arena. Air Force extended its winning streak to five games, the longest in the nation, and improved to 14-6-4 overall, 9-3-3 and in third place in the AHA. Sacred Heart fell to 6-18-0 overall and 5-12-0 in the league.
After controlling play for much of the first period, the game was scoreless until the final seconds of the opening stanza. Chad Demers intercepted a pass at the blue line and played catch with Cole Gunner in the zone. Demers' shot was saved, but Gunner put back the rebound for his team-leading 11th of the season with 4.2 seconds left in the period.
Air Force added two goals in the second period for a 3-0 lead. Freshman Ryan Dau scored his first career goal at the 5:04 mark. Alex Halloran slid the puck across to Mike McDonald at the left point. His shot was redirected in the slot by Dau for a 2-0 lead. Later in the period, defenseman Dan Weissenhofer scored his second of the weekend with a wrister from the right point. Gunner won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Demers sent the puck up the wall to Weissenhofer. His wrister snuck through SHU goalie Alex Vazzano and just trickled over the goal line for a 3-0 lead at 13:29.
Early in the third period, Vazzano was called for a five-minute major for contact to the head and a game misconduct. Andrew Bodnarchuk replaced him in the goal and played the final 18 minutes. On the ensuing five-minute power play, Alex Halloran took a shot from the point that was high and hit off the back wall. Fabian collected it and scored with a wrap-around on the backhand for a 4-0 lead at 3:57 of the third period.
In just his fifth career start, Truehl posted his second shutout as he stopped all 18 shots he faced. AFA outshot SHU in every period and 37-18 in the game. AFA was 1-for-5 on the power play while SHU was 0-for-3. Alex Vazzano made 28 saves while allowing three goals in 42 minutes before leaving with a game misconduct. Andrew Bodnarchuk made five saves while allowing one goal in 18 minutes. "We played our game tonight," head coach Frank Serratore said. "Our intensity and energy were much better tonight. We just were not there last night, but tonight we had our game back. Chris Truehl was really solid for us tonight. He was in control, confident and poised. This was a great team win tonight."
Air Force travels to Pittsburgh, Pa., for a two-game AHA series against Robert Morris, Jan. 24-25.
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