BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senior Evan Feno’s first career hat trick, and a solid penalty kill, led Air Force to a 7-3 win over Canisius in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game, Friday, Oct. 19, at the Harborcenter in Buffalo, N.Y.
Canisius (1-2-0, 1-2-0 AHC) got on the board just over a minute into the game on the rush. On a 3-on-2, Matt Hoover scored from Lee Lapid and Austin Alger at 1:09. Air Force answered on the power play to tie the game at 1-1. On the first faceoff of the man-advantage, Kyle Haak won the draw and Feno’s first of the season tied the game at 12:06. Matt Koch and Matt Serratore assisted on the goal. Late in the period, an Air Force turnover gave the Griffs a golden opportunity. The Falcons turned the puck over in their own slot and Grant Meyer fed Dylan McLaughlin to give the Griffs a 2-1 lead at 18:49.
Feno scored two goals in the second period for a 3-2 lead. Feno tied the game, from Evan Geisler, at 3:51 from right in front. Midway through the second period, Feno capped the hat trick on the power play when he scored from the half-boards from Matt Serratore and Matt Koch.
Early in the third period, freshman Kieran Durgan scored his first career goal at 15:23. Pierce Pluemer’s shot was saved, but Durgan’s rebound gave the Falcons a 4-2 lead. Matt Serratore was taken down in the neutral zone and a five-minute major was called on Canisius’ Jimmy Mazza. The Falcons capitalized as Kyle Haak scored on the power play at 10:47. Haak put back a rebound of Dan Bailey’s shot for his first goal of the season. However, Canisius turned an odd-man rush into a short-handed goal as Cameron Heath scored from McLaughlin at 13:39. With 3:37 left, the Griffs pulled their goalie. After a couple timely saves by Billy Christopoulos, Durgan flipped the puck into the air, from his own end, and into the empty net for a 6-3 lead. With 23 seconds left, Trevor Stone scored from Brady Tomlak to seal the win.
Air Force was 3-for-6 on the power play and killed all seven of Canisius’ man-advantage. Canisius outshot Air Force, 28-26, in the game. Billy Christopoulos made 25 saves for the Falcons.
“We needed something good to happen to us after last weekend,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “I thought we played really well at times. We gave them a few out-numbered rushes and they are an opportunistic team that will take advantage. They have as much skill as anyone at our level. But then we settled down. We got back to playing Falcon hockey. The story of the game was our penalty kill, killing all seven. We took a step in the right direction tonight.”
Air Force (1-2-0, 1-0-0 AHC) and Canisius conclude the two-game league series on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:35 pm ET in Buffalo, N.Y.