Feb. 5, 2011
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - After falling behind 4-0 in the first 12 minutes of the game, Air Force battled back for a 5-5 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Feb. 5, at a sold out Ritter Arena in Rochester, N.Y. Air Force is now 11-10-6 overall and 9-6-6 in the AHA. RIT is 14-8-7 overall and 13-3-6 in the league.
The first period was all RIT as the Tigers built a 4-0 lead in the first 12 minutes of the game. A neutral zone turnover turned into a 2-on-1 for the Tigers as Jeff Smith scored at the 2:48 mark. Ben Lynch gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead when he scored with a wrister from the left circle at 7:24. Two minutes later, the Tigers took a 3-0 lead on a goal by Mike Janda. RIT won a faceoff in the offensive end and Janda took the puck to the net for his ninth of the year at 9:25. After the goal, freshman Jason Torf was replaced in goal by junior Stephen Caple. The Tigers added a power-play goal at 11:40 when Chris Saracino fired a slap shot from the point high glove side
Trailing 4-0 in the second period, Air Force got back in the game with two goals in the middle period. After a too many men on the ice penalty on RIT, Derrick Burnett drew a slashing penalty and the Falcons had a 5-on-3 advantage. Kyle DeLaurell won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Jacques Lamoureux fed Scott Mathis at the point. With DeLaurell screening the goalie, Mathis fired a shot for the Falcons' first goal of the series. AFA cut the Tigers' lead to 4-2 with 2:24 left in the period. Scott Kozlak won a faceoff and Adam McKenzie scored his fourth of the season with a wrister from the point.
Falcon sophomore John Kruse made the score 4-3 at 1:19 of the third period when he took a long outlet pass from Brad Sellers, skated in uncontested and went high glove side for his eighth of the season. Air Force tied the game on the power play at 9:53 of the third period. Derrick Burnett made a pass from the goal line on the left side to Lamoureux right in front and the senior scored his team-leading 14th of the season. The tie was short-lived as RIT scored at 11:16 for a 5-4 lead. The Falcons turned the puck over in the neutral zone and the Tigers had a brief odd-man rush. Adam Hartley, who scored the game-winner in overtime on Friday, scored from Cameron Burt as the Tigers regained the lead. Air Force answered less than two minutes later, again on the power play. Tim Kirby fired a shot from the left side and Lamoureux tipped it in the air at the far post. The puck went across the goal mouth and DeLaurell batted it in out of the air to tie the game at 5-5 at 13:45 of the third period.
Air Force took one shot in overtime that was saved and then Caple made two saves on a flurry in the final 20 seconds as the Falcons came from behind to earn a point. AFA and RIT played three times this season and each team won one game and one ended in a tie.
AFA outshot RIT, 32-27, in the game, including 14-6 in the third period. AFA was 3-for-6 on the power play after going 0-for-4 on Friday. RIT was 1-for-4 on the man-advantage. Torf started the game in net for Air Force and allowed three goals on seven shots. Caple came on in relief and earned the tie, stopping 18 of the 20 shots he faced. Shane Madolora made 27 saves for the Tigers.
"RIT is a very good team and very, very good at home," head coach Frank Serratore said. "After we killed three penalties, our guys fought back and stayed focused. After we got down 4-0, we talked about putting it behind us and keep battling. Our power play came through for us tonight. We have some things to polish up in our game, but our guys have remarkable resiliency. These guys have some character. Our goal in the final three weeks in to not lose a series. If we do that, we should be in a favorable spot in the standings and we should have some confidence coming down the stretch."
Air Force returns home to host a two-game series with Niagara, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 11-12, at 7:05 p.m. MT each night at Cadet Ice Arena.