Fairchild's goal forces 4-4 overtime tie with Mercyhurst
Jan. 30, 2009
USAFA, Colo. - Matt Fairchild scored with 55 seconds left in the third period as No. 19 Air Force and Mercyhurst skated to a 4-4 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Jan. 30, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie. Pa. Air Force moved to within one point of first place RIT as the Falcons stay in second place with a 17-6-2 overall mark and a 14-3-2 record (30 points) in the AHA. Mercyhurst has a five-game unbeaten streak and is now 11-12-3 overall and 9-6-3 in the league.
Air Force scored two in the first period on goals by Jacques Lamoureux and Sean Bertsch. At the 8:55 mark, Lamoureux scored his 20th of the season for a 1-0 lead. Brent Olson skated the puck down the left side on a 2-on-1 rush and fed Lamoureux who beat Ryan Zapolski. Then, with 2:39 left in the opening period, the Falcons' fourth line scored a blue-collar goal. The line of Bertsch, Paul Weisgarber and Mike Phillipich won a battle on the board. Weisgarber took the puck to the net and fed Bertsch for his fourth of the year.
The Falcons built a 3-0 lead early in the second period on Greg Flynn's fifth of the season. After winning a faceoff in the offensive end in a 4-on-4 situation, Brad Sellers gave the puck to Jeff Hajner in the left circle. Flynn one-timed the cross-ice pass from Hajner past Zapolski at 5:19.
Mercyhurst scored the next four goals of the game to take a 4-3 lead after two periods. Scott Pitt got the Lakers on the board with a shot from the point at 8:22 on the power play. Two minutes later a point shot by Neil Graham bounced through traffic and past Andrew Volkening to make the score 3-2. The Lakers top goal scorer, Steve Cameron, tied the game with a rebound goal at 16:06. Just 83 seconds later, Graham's second of the game came from right in front for a 4-3 lead.
Air Force tied the game with 55 seconds left in the third period. The Falcons pulled Volkening off the ice with two minutes remaining in favor of the extra skater. Lamoureux won the faceoff in the offensive end and gave the puck to Hajner at the top of the right circle. His shot was redirected by Fairchild in front of the net to tie the game at 4-4.
In overtime, Air Force outshot Mercyhurst, 3-0, but was not able to score. AFA outshot MC, 44-24, in the game. Zapolski made 40 saves while Volkening made 20 for the Falcons. The Lakers were 1-for-6 on the power play while the Falcons were 0-for-4 on the man-advantage.
"Obviously we are not the least bit happy with blowing a three-goal lead, but this was a great college hockey game," head coach Frank Serratore said. "It could have very easily been one that went back and forth all the night, but it didn't play out that way. Tonight's first period was the best we have played all season. We were awesome. They are a very good team and so are we. They run on emotion and they came hard at us and then we started running around a little. We played pretty good for the majority of the third period and the goal we got to tie it was a byproduct of the way we played in the third. This was a great game."
Air Force and Mercyhurst conclude the series on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 7:05 p.m. ET in Erie, Pa.