NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Niagara scored four third-period goals for a come-from-behind 4-1 win over Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Friday, Feb. 28, at Dwyer Arena in Niagara, N.Y. Niagara improved to 11-17-5 overall and 11-10-5 in the league. Air Force fell to 19-12-4 overall and 14-9-3 in the AHA. Niagara is in sixth place in the league while Air Force fell into a tie for fourth.
After a scoreless first period, the Falcons lit the lamp first as freshman A.J. Reid tipped in a point shot by Jason Fabian with 5:00 left in the second period. Air Force outshot Niagara, 16-4, in the second period.
Niagara tied the game with a power-play goal by Hugo Turcotte at 3:44 of the third period on a re-direct in front. The Purple Eagles then scored two goals in a span of 25 seconds for a 3-1 lead. Purple Eagle defenseman Kevin Ryan scored with a shot from the right point through traffic at 7:35. After a Falcon turnover in their own end, Matt Chartrain scored on a breakaway at 8:00 of the third for a 3-1 lead. Late in the period, the Falcons pulled Jason Torf in favor of the extra-attacker with just under three minutes remaining. However, a Falcon turnover in the neutral zone led to an empty-net goal by Patrick Divjak with 1:59 left.
Air Force outshot Niagara, 27-20, in the game. AFA was 0-for-5 on the power play while Niagara was 1-for-2. Torf made 16 saves for the Falcons while Jackson Teichroeb made 26.
“Niagara is a difficult team to play against, especially in this building,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “They came at us hard all night and the play through people. We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities tonight and they did. We had some really good chances on the power play, but didn’t get a power-play goal. We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to do a better job of capitalizing on our chances and need to be stronger defensively. We need to come back tomorrow night with more spirit and put our best foot forward.”
Air Force and Niagara conclude the two-game series, and the regular-season, on Saturday, March 1, at 7:05 p.m. ET in Niagara, N.Y..