Jan. 8, 2011
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Air Force's five-game unbeaten streak came to an end as the Falcons fell to Sacred Heart, 4-2, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. Air Force fell to 8-8-3 overall and 6-4-3 in the AHA. Sacred Heart improved to 3-13-5 overall and 3-7-5 in the league. Sacred Heart took three of the four points in the series.
Air Force took its first lead of the series as Ryan Timar scored his first career goal at the 3:53 mark. Scott Mathis took a shot from the point that was redirected by Timar right in front. Casey Kleisinger also assisted on the play. The lead was short-lived as just 17 seconds later David Berube tied the game for Sacred Heart. After Sacred Heart won the ensuing faceoff, Ben Ketchum led a 2-on-1 into the Air Force and made a pass across to Berube who had some open net on the right side. The Pioneers took a 2-1 lead with 1:32 remaining in the period. Chris Brown chipped a puck high off the glass and an Air Force defenseman tried to knock it down with his glove. The puck was picked up by Torin Snydeman who skated in uncontested and beat Jason Torf under the bar.
SHU increased its lead to 3-1 midway through the second period on the power play when Matt Gingera scored from Patrick Knowlton and Chad Filteau at 10:15. The Falcons answered with a power-play goal of their own at the 11:43 mark. Derrick Burnett fed Tim Kirby in the slot who fired a shot that was saved. The puck came right back to Kirby who netted his fourth of the season.
The first half of the third period was a track meet as each team had several quality chances. SHU's Anthony Yelovitch had a breakaway that was broken up from behind by Scott Mathis 20 seconds into the period. On the power play, Kyle DeLaurell and John Kruse both had point-blank shots that were saved by Stephen Legatto. Later, at even strength, Jacques Lamoureux had a shot that was saved by Legatto. Midway through the period, Yelovitch had another breakaway, but hit the post to the right of Torf. Trailing 3-2, Air Force pulled its goaltender with 2:22 remaining. However, when the puck came out of the zone, Berube pushed it past a Falcon defenseman and slid the puck into the empty net to make the final score 4-2.
Air Force outshot Sacred Heart, 32-26, in the game. AFA was 1-for-3 on the power play while SHU was 1-for-1. Torf made 23 saves for Air Force while Legatto made 30.
"We played a lot better than last night, but we didn't get it done," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We played hard, but unfortunately we couldn't manufacture a bounce. We drew a couple penalties late because we were buzzing them pretty god, but couldn't score. We have a little pattern going here; we are getting behind by two goals and then we respond. We need to play with a sense of urgency quicker in the game and not just when the situation dictates it. If you make it a habit, catch-up hockey is losing hockey and we won't be the team we want to be until we change that around. This was our first loss in some time (five-game unbeaten streak from Dec. 3-Jan. 7). There were some things during the streak that I was really proud of. We have shown resiliency, but we have to find a way to get on top of opponents and then put them away. We have been more reactive than proactive."
Air Force returns home for a two-game series against Army, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 14-15, at the Cadet Ice Arena. Friday's faceoff is at 8:05 p.m. MT as the game will be nationally-televised on CBS College. Saturday's faceoff is at 7:05 p.m. MT. For tickets, please click here.