Air Force hockey falls at Sacred Heart, 3-1

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. Sacred Heart’s Jordan Kaplan scored two goals to lead the Pioneers to a 3-1 win over Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn.

Sacred Heart (6-12-2, 6-8-1 AHC) took the early lead as Liam Clare knocked down an Air Force clear in the neutral zone. Kaplan took the pass in the Air Force end and scored with a wrister from the slot at 10:56. A minute later, Marshall Bowery’s shot from the slot went off the far post as the Pioneers had a 1-0 lead after one period.

After a scoreless second period, Air Force (11-9-3, 9-6-2 AHC) tied the game early in the third period. Freshman Kieran Durgan scored his ninth goal of the season as he put back a rebound of his own shot at 3:24. SHU regained the lead just four minutes later as Austin Magera took a pass in the left circle and snapped a wrister though traffic for a 2-1 lead at 7:32. Trailing 2-1, Air Force pulled the goalie with 1:40 remaining, but 12 seconds later, Kaplan scored in the empty net, from the red line, for a 3-1 lead.

SHU outshot Air Force, 33, 23. Billy Christopoulos had 30 saves while Josh Benson had 22 for the Pioneers. Each team was 0-for-3 on the power play.

The two teams conclude the two-game series on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 4:05 pm ET at the University of Yale in New Haven, Conn.