Air Force sweeps Army with 4-2 win over Army in series finale

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WEST POINT, N.Y. Billy Christopoulos made 28 saves and four different Falcons scored as Air Force swept Army with a 4-2 win in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game, Saturday night, Nov. 3, at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y. Air Force won game one by an identical 4-2 score.

After a scoreless first period, Trevor Stone gave the Falcons the early lead on the power play with a wrister from the slot at 2:04. Army had several out-numbered rushes, but Christopoulos was there to make saves on Kevin Dineen twice and Dalton McAfee. The Falcons took a 2-0 lead when Kyle Haak put back a rebound of Walker Sommer’s shot at 14:20. On the ensuing faceoff, Army’s Mashall Plunkett carried the puck down the right wing, uncontested, and scored with a wrister from the right dot at 5:29.

After penalties on Matt Koch and Brady Tomlak late in the second period, Army started the third period with 44 seconds left on a 5-on-3. Air Force killed both penalties without giving up a shot on goal. Shortly after the penalties expired, Jake Levin dumped a puck deep and Tomlak won a race on the far wall. Tomlak’s centering pass was right on the tape of Kieran Durgan in the slot and the freshman netted his team-leading fourth of the season for a 3-1 lead. The Black Knights again answered as Daniel Haider scored at 9:33 on a rebound of Kevin Dineen’s shot. With 1:33 left, Army pulled its goalie in favor of the extra attacker. Christopoulos made two saves in the extra attacker situation. With just under a minute remaining, Tomlak won a faceoff in the defensive zone. Levin ripped the puck around the boards and Haak chipped it out. Tomlak collected the puck in the neutral zone and slid the puck into the net for a 4-2 lead.

“We didn’t play from behind the entire weekend,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “I don’t think either team could play much harder. It was a pretty evenly played series with the edge going to Billy the Greek. Our guy was just a little better than their guy. They are a good team. They could win this league. Not many people will come in here and sweep Army this season. I’m really proud of the guys, they got it done.”

Air Force (4-4-0, 4-2-0 AHC) returns home for a two-game league series with Bentley, Nov. 9-10, at Cadet Ice Arena.