U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Air Force scored three goals in a span of 2:28 in the second period for a come-from-behind, 3-2, win over Canisius in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Oct. 25, at the Cadet Ice Arena. The Falcons extended their winning streak to three straight and improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the AHA. Canisius fell to 0-2 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
After a scoreless first period in which the team combined for just 10 shots, the game opened up in the second period. Air Force and Canisius combined for 27 shots in the second period. Canisius scored two goals in a span of 1:42 for a 2-0 lead. Cody Freeman put the Griffs on the board when he scored from Ben Danford and Patrick Sullivan at 2:27. Danford’s shot was saved, and Freeman’s rebound went off the skate of an Air Force defenseman and inside the far post for the first goal of the game. On the ensuing power play, Ralph Cuddemi scored from Duncan McKellar and Danford at 4:30. McKellar fed Cuddemi in the left circle and his backhander went high over the blocker of Jason Torf. In the first six minutes of the period, Canisus outshot Air Force, 9-0. In the final 14 minutes of the period, it was all Air Force as the Falcons held a 14-4 shot advantage. Shortly after falling behind, 2-0, the Falcons killed a Canisius power play. After the kill, Air Force got on the board at the 8:57 mark on Adam McKenzie’s first of the season. Dan Weissenhofer fired a shot from the right point that was saved and freshman Ryan Dau fed McKenzie at the left point. His shot through traffic, including a screen by Max Birkinbine, cut the Griffs lead to 2-1. Two minutes later, Tony Thomas tied the game on the power play. Weissenhofer made a pass to Thomas on the right post. His first shot was saved, but he put back the rebound for his third of the season at the 10:48 mark. Freshman Johnny Hrabovsky collected his first career assist on the play. Thirty-seven seconds later, the Falcons took the lead as Cole Gunner scored his team-leading fourth of the season. McKenzie forced a turnover in the neutral zone and fed Chad Demers. Demers gave it to Scott Holm on the right side who then found Gunner in the slot. His shot through a screen by Holm gave the Falcons a 3-2 lead at 11:25.
Neither team scored in the third period, but the Falcons had a 15-5 advantage in shots.
Air Force outshot Canisius, 35-22, in the game. AFA was 1-for-4 on the power play while Canisius was 1-for-3. Jason Torf made 20 saves for the Falcons while Tony Capobianco had 32 stops.
“I am so proud of the spirit and determination of our guys,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “If there is one team that you do not want to get behind on it is Canisius, because they play such good team defense. I really liked the way we battled back. We never want to spot a team two goals, but it is nice to know that if we do, we have the ability to come from behind.”
Air Force will face Niagara (1-3-1 overall, 1-0-1 AHA), the defending AHA regular-season champions last season, on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 4:05 p.m. at the Cadet Ice Arena.