Air Force and Army skate to 2-2 overtime tie ... again

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U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. For the second straight night, Air Force and Army skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game, Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Cadet Ice Arena. The Falcons took six of the eight points in the season series.

Just one penalty was called in the first period and the Black Knights capitalized. Colin Bilek’s wrister from the right circle gave Army a 1-0 lead at 5:16. Dalton MacAfee and Dominic Franco assisted on the power play goal.

Midway through the second period, Air Force tied the game at 1-1 on Brady Tomlak’s fourth of the season. Marshall Bowery gained the zone and spun the puck around the boards. Jake Levin’s centering pass found Tomlak all alone in the slot. Late in the period, the Black Knights regained the lead with their second power-play goal of the game. Dominic Franco and Eric Butte worked behind the net and MacAfee scored with a wrister from the bottom of the right circle.

In a span of 60 seconds midway through the third period, Zach Mirageas had three big hits in his own end, Billy Christopoulos stopped Eric Butte on a breakaway and then the Falcons tied the game. Erich Jaeger won a faceoff in the offensive end and Mirageas slid the puck across to Matt Koch. Koch’s blast from the left point found the back of the net at 8:29. Late in the third period, Shawn Knowlton and Joe Tyran each had quality scoring chances but were unable to break the tie. Air Force outshot Army, 9-3, in the third period.

Army outshot Air Force, 28-26, in the game. Air Force was 0-for-1 on the power play while Army was 2-for-2. Jared Dempsey had 24 saves for Army while Billy Christopoulos had 26.

“We persevered tonight,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “Army is not an easy team to play against and definitely not an easy team to come from behind against. It is really hard to turn the game on them but we found a way to win the third period and tie the game. Our guys played hard and played to win. Outside of Billy Christopoulos, the best part of our game has been our penalty kill. Ironically, it was our penalty kill that let us down tonight. But we found a way to score two even-strength goals against a team that is hard to score on.”

Air Force travels to Sacred Heart for a pair of conference games, Jan. 19-20, in Connecticut.