Air Force hockey falls to Alaska, 6-1, in season opener

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska. – The University of Alaska-Fairbanks scored three goals in the first 14 minutes of the game and held on for a 6-1 win over Air Force in the first game of the Kendall Hockey Classic, Friday, Oct. 11, at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. The game was the season opener for both teams as Alaska improved to 1-0 while Air Force fell to 0-1.

The Nanooks opened the scoring on its first shot as Nolan Huysmans scored unassisted just 12 seconds into the game. Alaska took a 2-0 lead when Cody Kunyk scored unassisted at the 12:17 mark. Shortly after the goal, a five-minute major for checking from behind was called on Alaska’s Brandon Morley. However, it was the Nanooks that scored short-handed when Jared Larson netted his first of the season from Michael Quinn at 13:45. After the goal, Falcon junior Paul Moberg replaced Jason Torf between the pipes.

Midway through the second period, the teams combined for three goals in 39 seconds. Kunyk scored his second of the night from Colton Parayko and Colton Beck at the 10:05 mark to give the Nanooks a 4-1 lead. Air Force got on the board at the 10:27 mark when George Michalke scored from Ben Persian and Dan Weissenhofer. The Nanooks quickly answered at the 10:44 mark when Garrick Perry scored from Parayko and Shawn Houchhausen to take a 5-1 lead.

Alaska took a 6-1 lead at the 6:03 mark of the third period when Marcus Basara scored a power-play goal from Larson and Tyler Morley. After the goal, Falcon freshman goalie Chris Truehl saw his first collegiate action and played the final 13:57 of the game. The Falcon power-play had a chance late in the third period, but was not able to capitalize on five-minute major, including a two-minute 5-on-3, midway through the third period.
Air Force outshot Alaska, 21-17, in the game. The Falcons were 0-for-7 on the power play while Alaska was 1-for-2. Alaska was called for 11 penalties for 55 minutes, while AFA was called for five penalties for 21 minutes. Nanook goalie John Keeney earned his first win of the season by making 20 saves. Torf, who took the loss in the game, started for Air Force and allowed two goals on five shots in 14 minutes. Moberg came on in relief and allowed three goals on nine shots in 32 minutes. Truehl played the final 14 minutes for the Falcons and did not allow a goal, while making three saves.

Air Force returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 12, as the Falcons face the host school, Alaska-Anchorage, at 7:07 p.m. AT (9:07 MT) at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.