U.S AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Four different Falcons scored and Jason Torf made 28 saves as Air Force beat Robert Morris, 4-1, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena. Air Force swept the two-game series and moved into sole possession of second place as the Falcons improved to 11-9-5 overall and 9-5-3 in the league. Robert Morris fell to 12-9-2 overall and 7-8-1 in the conference.
Air Force opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game. Casey Kleisinger and Jason Fabian cycled the puck behind the net and Kleisinger centered the puck to Ben Persian. Persian's third of the season came as he stuffed one in short side at the 2:19 mark. The Colonials answered with a cycle of their own. Scott Jacklin and Adam Brace cycled along the far wall and defenseman Brendan Jamison jumped in the play. Jamison centered the puck to Jacklin who punched it under the pads of Jason Torf to tie the game at the 4:08 mark.
The Falcons took a 2-1 lead late in the second period on the power play. John Kruse won a faceoff in the offensive end and Mike McDonald pushed the puck down the wall to Chad Demers. Demers made a cross ice pass through traffic that was right on the tape of Cole Gunner and Gunner buried his sixth of the season at the 19:21 mark.
Early in the third period, the Falcons had 1:14 of a 5-on-3 as Casey Kleisinger and Scott Holm drew penalties for the Falcons. Just after the first penalty expired, Adam McKenzie scored to give the Falcons a 3-1 lead at 6:30 of the third period. Kyle De Laurell moved the puck up the boards and Tony Thomas fed McKenzie at the right point. Leading 3-1 late with two minutes left in the game, a penalty was called on Thomas and Colonials pulled the goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage. Jason Fabian won a faceoff in the defensive zone and Ryan Timar collected the puck in front on the Falcon net. He sent the puck the length of the ice and into the open net for a 4-1 lead with 90 seconds remaining.
Robert Morris outshot Air Force, 14-4, in the first 15 minutes of the game. From that point on, the Falcons outshot the Colonials, 41-15. In the game, Air Force outshot RMU, 45-29. AFA was 2-for-7 on the power play while RMU was 0-for-5. Torf made 28 saves for the Falcons while Eric Levine made 41 for the Colonials.
"They took it to us in the first period, but thankfully for us Jason Torf was the best player in the rink," head coach Frank Serratore. "Jason got us through the first period and gave us a chance. From that point, the guys took advantage of it. During this 8-2-2 run, we have done the majority of it on the road and that is a good sign. These were good wins, but right now we don't want to get too high or too low. Right now, we are finding ways to win."
Air Force hosts a two-game Atlantic Hockey series with AIC, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 1-2, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena. --30--