Air Force falls to Sacred Heart, 5-1

Jan. 3, 2010

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MILFORD, Conn. - Dave Jarman and Patrick Knowlton each had three points to lead Sacred Heart to a 5-1 win over Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Sunday night, Jan. 3, at the Milford Ice Pavilion in Milford, Conn. Sacred Heart scored two empty-net goals in the final two minutes.

The Pioneers swept the series and improved 6-9-2 overall and 4-6-1 in the AHA. Air Force fell to 8-8-4 overall and 8-4-4 in the league.

Sacred Heart opened the scoring at the 11:06 mark of the first period. The Pioneers won a faceoff in the offensive end and it led to a flurry in front of Andrew Volkening. Volkening made the first two saves but then Dave Jarman lifted a puck up high that fluttered over the shoulder of the goaltender for a 1-0 lead. The Falcons answered 19 seconds later. Air Force won the ensuing faceoff and drove the net. Matt Fairchild made a pass from the center of the ice to the left circle and Brett Nylander scored his first of the season. Jacques Lamoureux also assisted on the play.

Two Pioneer goals in the second period gave the home team a 3-1 lead. Jarman's second of the game broke the 1-1 tie at 12:51 after a quick transition from the neutral zone. Knowlton assisted on the play. Knowlton then scored from Jarman at the 15:45 mark. Jarman skated the puck behind the net and fed Knowlton on the left post for his fifth of the season.

Neither team scored in the third period, but the Falcons had a golden opportunity midway through. Air Force had 67 seconds of 5-on-3, but were unable to score. Air Force pulled Volkening in favor of the extra skater with 3:12 remaining. However, Reid MacLeod's empty-net goal with 2:07 remaining sealed the Pioneer win. Eric Delong added an empty-netter with 34 seconds left.

The Falcons were 0-for-5 on the power play. Sacred Heart was 0-for-1. Air Force outshot Sacred Heart, 37-27. Volkening made 22 saves while freshman Steven Legatto had 36 for the Pioneers.

" You are not going to win a lot of games scoring one or two goals," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We got out competed last night and got beat by a more determined team. I liked our battle level tonight, but we didn't capitalize on our opportunities. We failed to score on a 5-on-3 and when you don't score, usually it is in the kiss of death. Every team needs to find its own identity and I'm not sure if you can learn to win until you have dealt with losing. We have to become a better team defensively and, on offense, if you can't score more than one goal, you aren't going to win many games. We have been here every year and we have about two months to right the ship before the playoffs. We'll find out where we are come playoff time. We have to fight and scrap and do our best to get enough points to have home ice the in playoffs. We aren't a great team right now, but that doesn't mean we can't be a good team at playoff time. We have to check our egos at the door and find 18 guys that will leave their blood and sweat on the ice every night."

Air Force returns home for a two-game series with UConn, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 8-9, at the Cadet Ice Arena. Friday's game is a 6:05 p.m. MT and will be nationally-televised on CBS College Sports. Saturday's faceoff will be at 7:05 p.m. MT.



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