Kirby's overtime game-winner leads Air Force to 4-3 win over Holy Cross
Jan. 23, 2010
USAFA, Colo . - Tim Kirby scored the game-winning goal with 0.6 seconds left in overtime to lift Air Force to a 4-3 win over Holy Cross in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday night, Jan. 23, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force remains in a tie for first place in the AHA with RIT. Each team has 29 league points. The Falcons improved to 12-9-5 overall and 12-5-5 in the AHA. Holy Cross fell to 6-14-5 overall and 5-10-4 in the league.
A season-high crowd of 3,113 watched the Falcons come from behind to beat the Crusaders. Air Force extended its sellout streak to four straight games and eight overall this season.
Holy Cross drew first blood and took a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. Air Force turned the puck over at its own blue line and Andrew Cox fed Ryan Driscoll coming down the center of the ice. Driscoll scored his first of the season at the 4:37 mark. Air Force had 62 seconds of 5-on-3 and had just one shot on goal. AFA had three power plays in the first period and had just three shots on goal.
The Crusaders took a 2-0 lead early in the second period on Cox's first goal of the season. Matt Celin and Ryan Driscoll won a battle behind the net and fed Cox in the slot who was wide open. Air Force scored the next two goals to tie the game. Derrick Burnett scored his second of the series and sixth of the season on a wrister from just inside the top of the left circle. Stephen Carew and Paul Weisgarber led a rush through the neutral zone and found Burnett coming down the left wing at 7:01. The Falcons tied the game on the power play with 2:50 remaining in the second. Scott Mathis took a shot from the right point and Jacques Lamoureux redirected it to tie the game at 2-2. Derrick Burnett also assisted on the play as Lamoureux scored his third of the series and 16th of the season. But then, with 34 seconds left, the Crusaders regained the lead. Luke Miller skated down the left side and took a shot that was saved by Andrew Volkening. Miller went to the back wall and regained the puck. He found Rob Forshner at the right post and, after his first shot was saved, he scored his fourth of the season.
Early in the third period, Air Force took three penalties and Holy Cross had 56 seconds of 5-on-3. The Falcons killed them all and remained a goal down at 3-2. At the 11:58 mark, John Kruse drew a penalty and Air Force was on the power play. The Falcons capitalized as Matt Fairchild tied the game at 13:35. Kyle De Laurell passed down low to Lamoureux and his centering pass was tipped in by Fairchild to tie the game at 3-3. Stephen Carew then drew a penalty with 2:02 remaining and the Falcons closed out the third period on the power play. However, the best scoring chance came short-handed by the Crusaders. Air Force turned the puck over in its own end and J.P. Martignetti skated in on Volkening who made a pad save with 40 seconds left.
In overtime, Holy Cross had four shots on goal, three came in a flurry with 1:20 remaining after another Falcon turnover at its own blue line. Matt Gordon forced the turnover and had two shots from point-blank range that Volkening saved. With under 15 seconds left, Holy Cross cleared the puck out of the Air Force end and went for a line change. Brad Sellers retrieved the puck and sent a pass from his own blue line to Kirby at the Holy Cross blue line. Kirby took a couple strides and fired a shot from the top of the right circle that beat Tysowsky over the glove on the short side with 0.6 seconds remaining.
The goal was Kirby's fourth of the season and his third game-winner. Kirby also scored game winners vs. RIT (Oct. 23) with 1:45 left in the third and UConn (Jan. 8) with 2:46 left in the third. Kirby also assisted on Fairchild's game-winning goal with one second left in overtime to beat RIT (Oct. 24).
Holy Cross outshot Air Force, 36-28, in the game. AFA was 2-for-7 on the power play while Holy Cross was 0-for-5. Volkening made 33 saves while Tysowsky made 24.
"Those were two big points for us and I guess we utilized all of the clock to get them," head coach Frank Serratore said. "Our compete level was very good tonight, especially from the second period on. We woke up after the first period and started to play more physical. That competitive spirit has to be our foundation. When we work hard and compete, we have a fighting chance every night. We still didn't take care of the puck very well and that is going to have to change if we are going to win with any consistency."
Air Force travels to West Point, N.Y., next weekend for a two-game series with Army, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 29-30, at 7:05 p.m. ET from Tate Rink.