WEST POINT, N.Y. – Air Force erased a two-goal deficit in the second period for a 4-2 win over Army in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday, Jan. 11, at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y. Air Force earned its first sweep at Army since 2001 as the Falcons improved to 12-6-4 overall and 7-3-3 in the league. Air Force moved into a tie for third place in the AHA by getting four points in the series. Army fell to 3-16-0 overall and 3-12-0 in the league.
Air Force dominated the first period, outshooting Army, 16-6. However, it was Army that scored the only goal of the period. Late in the period, the Black Knights had an odd-man rush down the right side. Joe Kozlak dropped the puck to C.J. Reuschlein at the top of the right circle. His wrister whistled past Falcon goaltender Chris Truehl for a 1-0 Army lead with 1:26 left in the first period.
Army took a 2-0 lead in the first minute of the second period. With Air Force on the power play, Army forced a turnover and sent the puck up to Clint Carlisle who skated in short-handed and uncontested. Carlisle made a move around Truehl and scored his fourth of the season just 49 seconds into the second period. Air Force answered at the 3:16 mark. Ryan Timar skated the puck down the left side and drove toward the net. He lost the puck behind the net, but centered to Mitch Torrel in the slot. Torrel scored his sixth of season to cut the Army lead to 2-1. Air Force then scored two goals in a span of 16 seconds to take a 3-2 lead. On the power play, the Falcons moved the puck high to low and Scott Holm found Alex Halloran on the weak side. His third of the season came at the 15:00 mark. On the ensuing faceoff, the Falcons controlled the puck and gained the zone. George Michalke’s shot created a flurry in front. Tony Thomas skated in and cleaned up the rebound for his seventh of the season at 15:16.
Air Force clung to the 3-2 lead until late in the third period. With 1:27 remaining, Army pulled its goaltender Rod Tadazak in favor of the extra attacker. Chad Demers forced a turnover in the Air Force end and Scott Holm pushed the puck out of the zone. Holm fed Cole Gunner in the neutral zone and the junior sealed the win with an empty-netter with 1:11 left in the game.
Air Force outshot Army, 30-16, in the game. The Falcons held Army to just 37 shots in the series. AFA was 1-for-3 on the power play while Army was 0-for-1. Truehl made 14 saves for the Falcons while Tadazak made 26 for the Black Knights.
“Hats off to our guys for this whole weekend,” coach Frank Serratore said. “This was a hard-fought, intense, emotional series and our guys found a way to get it down. We had to earn all three of our goals (not counting the empty-netter) tonight. There was nothing easy about it.”
Air Force returns home for a two-game Atlantic Hockey series against Sacred Heart, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 17-18, at the Cadet Ice Arena.