Jan. 7, 2011
MILFORD, Conn. - Jacques Lamoureux scored a goal with 0.6 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime as Air Force and Sacred Heart skated to a 5-5 tie in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Jan. 7, at the Milford Ice Pavilion in Milford, Conn. Air Force is now 8-7-3 overall and 6-3-2 and in fourth place in the AHA. Sacred Heart is 2-13-5 overall and 2-7-5 in the league.
The game was delayed 65 minutes due to a snowstorm that created havoc with the roads and caused the officials to be late to the arena. After the delay, it was Sacred Heart that opened the scoring at the 10:58 mark of the first period. Matt Gingera had the puck in the left corner, skated down the goal line and tucked the puck inside the far post for a 1-0 lead. Air Force tied the game at 12:28 when John Kruse snapped a wrister from the left circle past Pioneer goalie Stephen Legatto. Defensemen Mike Walsh and Brad Sellers assisted on the play. Sacred Heart regained the lead on the power play with 55 seconds left. Gingera made a pass from the goal line on the right side to the left circle. Defensemen Mitchell Stretch snuck in and his one-timer beat Jason Torf.
A five-goal second period saw Air Force chasing the Pioneers on the scoreboard. Air Force tied the score at 2-2 at the 3:10 mark when John Kruse put back a rebound of an Adam McKenzie shot. Sacred Heart took a 3-2 lead when Kyle Verbeek took a centering pass from Chris Brown and scored his third of the season. The Falcons again answered as Tim Kirby scored his third of the season at the 8:38 mark. Freshman Mitch Torrel earned his first career assist on the play as Kirby crashed the net and went five-hole to tie the game at 3-3. Sacred Heart scored the next two goals of the game. Stretch scored his second of the game at 12:23. Gingera led a rush up ice and then made a centering pass that Stretch tapped in past Torf. The Pioneers took a 5-3 lead 19 seconds later when Neil Fachini scored with a wrister on the short side. After the goal, Torf was replaced in goal by junior Stephen Caple.
Air Force controlled play in the third period and outshot SHU, 14-3. AFA scored two goals in the third period to force overtime. Derrick Burnett cut the SHU lead to 5-4. Lamoureux and Weisgarber assisted on Burnett's fifth goal of the season and his 99th career point. The Falcons held on to the one-goal lead until late in the third period. With 1:28 left in the third period, Air Force pulled its goaltender in favor of the extra attacker. With nine seconds left, Paul Weisgarber won a faceoff and a scramble ensued in front of Legatto. Burnett's shot was saved and the puck bounced out to Lamoureux in the slot who buried the game-tying goal with 0.6 seconds left. Fifteen seconds into overtime, Lamoureux fired a slot shot that hit the goaltender under the arm and slid behind him, trickling toward the goal line. Legatto reached behind him and covered up. AFA had three shots in overtime while SHU had two.
AFA outshot Sacred Heart, 40-30, in the game, including a 34-17 advantage in the final 45 minutes. Torf started the game and played the first 33 minutes, allowing five goals on 21 shots. Caple finished the game, playing the final 31 minutes and stopping all nine shots he faced. AFA was 0-for-4 on the power play while SHU was 1-for-1.
"Our guys just don't quit," head coach Frank Serratore said. "They have the heart of a lion and I'm real proud of that attribute. These are the kind of young men we want at the Academy and the kind that we want to serve our country. No matter how gloomy it looks, they just keep fighting and battling. That's the good stuff. The reality of the situation is we were absolutely terrible in our own defensive zone. When you are leaking oil as bad as we were defensively, it is hard to get back into it. But, we completely dominated in the third period and it seemed like they lost their legs. We dodged a huge bullet tonight and we were fortunate to get a point in this game."
Air Force and Sacred Heart conclude the two-game series on Saturday, Jan. 8, at 4:30 p.m. ET at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn.