U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Niagara goalie Brian Wilson made 39 saves as the Purple Eagles shut out Air Force, 5-0, in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force opened the first period by outshooting Niagara, 8-0, in the first nine minutes. Niagara scored the only goal of the first period at 11:39. After forcing a turnover in the neutral zone. Eric Cooley skated down the left wing and took a shot that was saved, but Ben Sokay put back the rebound for his first of the season.
Late in the second period, Niagara forced a turnover in the neutral zone that led to an odd-man rush for the Purple Eagles. Reed Robinson’s shot was saved, but Dylan Mills cleaned up the rebound for a 2-0 lead at 16:41.
Early in the third period, the Falcons appeared to get on the board. Freshman Kieran Durgan’s shot hit the pipe and the Falcons kept the pressure on. Zach Mirageas’ shot was then saved and Evan Giesler put back the rebound at 2:51. However, after video review, offsides was called on the Falcons and the goal was disallowed. Four minutes later, the Purple Eagles took a 3-0 lead. Alex Truscott collected a loose puck behind the Air Force net. His centering pass went off the skate of a Falcon defenseman and into the net at 6:39. The Purple Eagles added to their lead after winning a faceoff in the Air Force end. Truscott won the draw and Luke Edgerton’s shot was saved. Zach Mills put back the rebound for a 4-0 lead at 9:55. With 7:44 left, the Falcons pulled the goalie to try to generate offense. Edgerton won a draw in the neutral zone and Jack Zielinski’s shot from about 165 feet away went into the empty net for a 5-0 lead.
Air Force (1-4-0, 1-2-0 AHC) outshot Niagara, 39-27, in the game. Air Force was 0-for-4 on the power play while Niagara was 0-for-2.
“I liked us in the first period,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “We made a few mistakes and they were opportunistic. Then things started to fall apart on us. I didn’t think we were as bad as the score indicated, but we have to tidy some things up. And we will.”
Air Force and Niagara (2-3-0, 2-1-0 AHC) conclude the two-game league series on Friday, Oct. 26, at 7:05 pm MT.