Air Force and Army skate to 2-2 overtime tie

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U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Air Force and Army skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game, Friday, Jan. 11, at a sold out Cadet Ice Arena.

After a scoreless first period, the Falcons jumped ahead on the power play. The Falcons killed a minute of Army’s power play and then a too many men on the ice penalty on the Black Knights created a 4-on-4 situation. Once the Falcons were at full strength, Kieran Durgan took a shot from the right point that was saved but Kyle Haak put back the rebound. Haak’s ninth of the season, also assisted by Matt Koch, came at 3:13 of the second. Four minutes later, the Falcons struck again, this time on the rush. Jake Levin started the play in his own end and Erich Jaeger gained the zone. His shot was saved, but Trevor Stone put back the rebound with a wrister from the right circle at 7:59.

The Black Knights (8-11-2, 7-6-2 AHC) scored two goals in the first four minutes of the third period to tie the game. Tipper Higgins tipped in a pass from Andrew Quetell to put the visiting team on the board at 2:11. Kevin Dineen carried the puck in the zone and fed Ian Mansfield in the right circle. Mansfield’s first goal of the season tied the score at 2-2 at 6:47. Each team has seven shots in the third period.

In overtime, Air Force had three shots while Army had two, but neither team was able to score.

Air Force (11-8-2, 9-5-1 AHC) outshot Army, 34-26, in the game. Air Force was 1-for-2 on the power play while Army was 0-for-2. Air Force had a 51-21 advantage on the faceoff dot. Billy Christopoulos made 24 saves for the Falcons while Jared Dempsey made 32 for the Black Knights.

“This was a good tie for Army and a bad tie for us,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “We were porous defensively all night. I liked our energy. You have to play hard, but you have to play smart. Give Army credit. One thing about Army, they will not beat themselves. They always play hard. They could have scored a couple goals in the first period, but Billy was there for us. Maybe justice was served in the third when they scored two. If we are going to develop into a championship team, we have to be better defensively.”

The same two teams conclude the two-game series Saturday, Jan. 12, at 5:05 pm MT at the Cadet Ice Arena.

Notes

With the point, Air Force moved into a tie for first place in Atlantic Hockey with AIC (19 points)

Air Force and Army have played eight times the last two years and AF has a 4-3-1 advantage in those games.

Air Force has killed 17 straight opponent power plays and 53 of the last 54

Air Force is 7-1-1 when winning the battle of special teams and 9-3-2 when scoring a power-play goal

Kyle Haak scored Air Force’s first goal and has a point in seven straight games

Matt Koch had an assist tonight and has scored a point in five straight.