WATERTOWN, Mass . - Air Force tied a season high with six goals as the Falcons beat Bentley, 6-3, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Friday night, Jan. 15, at the John A. Ryan Center in Watertown, Mass.
Air Force improved to 10-8-5 overall and 10-4-5 in the AHA. Bentley fell to 9-9-3 overall and 7-6-2 in the league. Air Force moved into a tie for first place in the AHA with RIT, one point ahead of Mercyhurst, who lost tonight at Sacred Heart.
Air Force scored two goals in a span of 34 seconds to take a 2-0 lead in the first period. John Kruse got the Falcons on the board at the 7:26 mark of the first period. After AFA won the faceoff in the offensive end, Kruse took the puck to the net and put back his own rebound for a 1-0 lead. Thirty-four seconds later, the Falcons took a 2-0 lead on defenseman Tim Kirby's third of the season. Kirby took the puck in the neutral zone, stick-handled around two Bentley defensemen and took a shot from the right circle that beat Bentley goalie Joe Calvi. With 1:11 left in the first period, Bentley got on the board when Jamie Nudy scored on a rebound of his own shot.
Blake Page gave Air Force a 3-1 lead at the 8:53 mark of the second period. Page skated down the left wing and put back a rebound of his own shot for his third goal of the season.
Forty seconds into the third period, Kyle De Laurell skated down the left side and his shot from the bottom of the left circle beat Calvi high blocker side for a 4-1 lead. Bentley answered at 2:23 on a goal by Jeremy Robert. Robert took a pass from behind the net and cut the AFA lead to 4-2. The Falcons then scored two goals in a span of 1:42. On the power play, Bentley's Justin Kemmerer skated into the Air Force zone on a short-handed breakaway. Matt Fairchild caught the Bentley forward, took the puck away from behind, turned and race down the left wing. As he got into Bentley zone, his centering pass was right on the tape of Jeff Hajner who scored the power-play goal for a 5-2 lead at 5:57. The Falcons took a 6-2 lead at 7:39 on Matt Becker's first goal of the season. Stephen Carew found Brett Nylander in the slot who touched it over to Becker on the right post. Bentley cut the lead to 6-3 as Brett Hartung scored a 5-on-3 goal with 8:35 remaining to make up the final margin.
Air Force out-shot Bentley, 30-29, in the game. AFA was 1-for-6 on the power play while Bentley was 1-for-7. Volkening made 26 saves for AFA while Calvi had 24 for Bentley.
So, 6 different scorers for Air Force, as they jump into a tie for first place with RIT (who won 4-0 over Conecticut). Mercyhurst fell 6-3 to Sacred Heart.
Saturday, January 16th:
Andrew Volkening made 24 saves to earn his third shutout of the season as Air Force blanked Bentley, 3-0, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday night, Jan. 16, at the John A. Ryan Center in Watertown, Mass.
Air Force moved into sole possession of first place in the league as the Falcons improved to 11-8-5 overall and 11-4-5 in the AHA. Bentley fell to 9-10-3 overall and 7-7-2 in the league.
Air Force drew first blood at the 11:41 mark when freshman Kyle De Laurell scored his second of the weekend and his fifth of the season. Scott Kozlak made a pass from behind the net and De Laurell scored from the slot. Jeff Hajner also assisted on the play. Four minutes later, the Falcons' fourth line started a 3-on-2 rush up ice. Stephen Carew pulled up in the left circle and fed Paul Weisgarber coming down the slot for his fifth of the year. Matt Becker also assisted on the play.
Despite killing four penalties in the second period, Air Force extended its lead to 3-0 midway through the period. The fourth line scored its second goal of the night on the rush. Carew took the puck on the right wing and zipped a shot that clanked off the post and went in for his fifth of the year at the 10:46 mark. Neither team scored in the third period as Air Force had an 11-5 shot advantage.
Air Force outshot Bentley, 34-24, in the game. Volkening made 25 saves in the game for the 14th shutout of his career. Bentley's Kyle Rank made 30 saves. AFA was 0-for-5 on the power play. The Falcons, the No. 1 penalty kill unit in the nation, killed all six Bentley power plays, including four in the second period.
"This is as good a game as our team has played since I've been here," Frank Serratore said. "We only gave up a few quality chances tonight. I was really impressed with our three-period performance. Our penalty kill was awesome. We took care of the puck better tonight. I couldn't be happier. These kids played a whale of a game and not many teams will come in here and sweep these guys."
Air Force moves into first place due to a 3-2 Mercyhurst loss to Sacred Heart. RIT also lost: 2-1 to UCONN