Air Force and Bemidji State skate to 3-3 overtime tie

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U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. Air Force and Bemidji State skated to a 3-3 overtime tie in a non-conference college hockey game Saturday, Dec. 29, at the Cadet Ice Arena.

Bemidji State scored first when Aaron Miller created a turnover in the neutral zone and skated down the left wing. His wrister from the left circle snuck in on the short side at 10:24. Air Force answered less than four minutes later. Erich Jaeger and Pierce Pluemer won a puck battle on the wall and Pluemer’s centering pass from the behind the net found Joe Tyran in the slot. Tyran’s first shot was saved, but he put back his own rebound for his first goal of the season at 14:01.

Air Force took its first lead early in the second period on the power play. With the man-advantage winding down, Kyle Haak dumped the puck behind the net and Even Giesler sent it out front. Walker Sommer scored his third of the season from the slot at 3:58. The Beavers answered with 1:15 left in the period. Tyler Kirkup won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Justin Baudry snapped a wrister through traffic, from the left circle, to tie the game at 2-2.

Freshman Kieran Durgan gave the Falcons a 3-2 lead early in the third period. Matt Koch and Zach Mirageas won a stick battle on the boards in the Falcons’ end and Durgan skated the length of the ice. His wrister from inside the top of the right circle was his seventh goal of the season. With Just over four minutes left, the Beavers tied the game. Charlie Combs forced a turnover in the Air Force end and Owen Sillinger collected the loose puck. He made a move as he skated across the goal mouth and netted his fifth of the year at 15:58 to tie the game.

In overtime, a shot by Beaver Tommy Muck snuck past Billy Christopoulos, hit the far post and trickled over the goal line. However, after video review, the officials determined there were too many men on the ice, nullifying the goal. Later in the overtime period, the Falcons had a breakaway but Brady Tomlak was slashed by Dillon Eichstadt and Air Force had a power play with 3:28 remaining. The Falcons outshot BSU, 6-0, in overtime, but were unable to break the tie.

Air Force outshot BSU, 33-32, in the game. Billy Christopoulos made 29 saves for the Falcons while Hank Johnson made 30 saves for the Beavers. Air Force was 1-for-5 on the power play while BSU was 0-for-4. Air Force has now killed 34 straight opponent power plays.

“This was an entertaining hockey game,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “It was poetic justice that it ended in a tie as neither team deserved to lose. Now it sets up a winner take all tomorrow night.”

The same two teams conclude the series Sunday, Dec. 30, at 5:05 pm MT at the Cadet Ice Arena.