Air Force sweeps Robert Morris with 3-1 win in series finale

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U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. Brady Tomlak and Walker Sommer each had two points as Air Force defeated Robert Morris, 3-1, in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Cadet Ice Arena. Air Force swept the two-game series and improved to 13-9-4 overall and 11-6-3 in the league. The Falcons are in second place in the conference with 25 points.

Robert Morris took the early lead less than five minutes into the first period. On the power play, Nick Prkusic won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Michael Loria took a shot from the left point. Jacob Coleman tipped it in front for his third of the season at 4:55. Air Force tied the game at 13:51 on a 2-on-1 rush. Brady Tomlak carried the puck down the right side and fed Walker Sommer on the doorstep. Max Harper picked up his first assist of the season on the play. Late in the period, Coleman was called for a major penalty and given a game misconduct. Then a hooking penalty on Colonial Alex Tonge gave the Falcons a 5-on-3 for two minutes. Air Force had four shots on goal put were unable to light the lamp.

Air Force took a 2-1 lead late in the second period, on the power play. Zach Mirageas’ shot from the center point was saved. Walker Sommer’s rebound attempt was also saved and then Tomlak found the back of the net with 17 seconds left in the second period.

With 1:15 left in the third period, and on the power play, the Colonials pulled the goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage. Jake Levin sent the puck around the boards and Evan Feno pushed the puck out of the zone. Kyle Haak collected it at the red line and back-handed it in to the empty net with 53 seconds remaining.

Air Force outshot RMU, 29-23, in the game. The Falcons were 1-for-5 on the power play while RMU was 1-for-4. Billy Christopoulos made 22 saves for the Falcons while Francis Marotte made 26 for the visiting Colonials.

“We played a good two periods tonight,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “We were fortunate to not be down 2-1 or 3-1 in the first period. Billy Christopoulos kept us in it. Give Robert Morris credit, they came out with a push. It’s not often that you get off to a slow start, blow a five-minute power play and a full service 5-on-3, and come back to win the game.”

Air Force travels to Waltham, Mass., for a two-game conference series against Bentley, Feb. 1-2.