Falcons battle back for 2-2 overtime tie with Sacred Heart

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. Trevor Stone scored with 39 seconds left in regulation as Air Force battled back for a 2-2 overtime tie with Sacred Heart in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game Sunday, Jan. 20, at Ingalls Arena in New Haven, Conn.

Midway through the first period, Sacred Heart took a 1-0 lead. Ryan Steele made a centering pass from the behind the Air Force net. The puck caromed off a skate and into the net at 9:34.

The Pioneers (6-12-3, 6-8-2 AHC) took a 2-0 lead early in the second. SHU forced a turnover in the Air Force end and Austin Magera scored with a wrister from the right circle at 1:15. Air Force cut the lead in half as Stone scored his sixth of the season at 13:23 on the rush. Shortly after the goal, Falcon center Brady Tomlak was called for a major penalty for boarding. Before the penalty expired, Falcon defenseman Zach Mirageas was called for a high-sticking penalty. The Falcons killed off both the major, and 1:16 of a 5-on-3. The Pioneers had eight total shots on the power plays, including four on the 5-on-3.

With 2:40 left in the third period and trailing 2-1, the Falcons pulled Billy Christopoulos for the extra attacker. Mirageas fired a shot from the center point that was tipped in by Stone with 39 seconds left in regulation. Each team had three shots in overtime.

SHU outshot Air Force, 38-28, in the game. Christopoulos made 36 saves for the Falcons while Josh Benson made 26 for the Pioneers. Each team was 0-for-5 on the power play.

“In terms of ties, this was a good one,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “They are a very good team with some great athletes, especially up front. They came at us full speed. It is hard to turn a game, but we did. They catalyst was Billy Christopoulos. He made some really good saves to give us a chance to come back. We wanted to minimize our mistakes tonight and we did that. We showed some substance tonight and took a step in the right direction.”

Air Force (11-9-4, 9-6-3 AHC) returns home for a two-game league series with Robert Morris, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 25-26, at the Cadet Ice Arena.