Air Force sweeps RIT with 4-2 win
Feb. 4, 2012
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force scored four goals in the third period as the Falcons swept RIT with a 4-2 victory in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena. The Falcons improved to 14-7-6 overall and 12-4-5 and all alone in first place with 29 points. RIT fell to 15-10-3 overall and 12-6-3 in the league and in a tie for second place with 27 points.
After a scoreless first period, RIT broke the ice with a power play goal on an odd-man rush late in the second period. Greg Noyes made a long outlet pass from his own end to Adam Hartley in the neutral zone to start a 2-on-1 rush. Hartley sent the puck across to Mike Colavecchia coming down the slot. Colavecchia gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead at16:01 of the second period for his team-leading 12th of the season. The goal broke a 156-minute scoreless streak by Jason Torf against the Tigers. Prior to the 3-0 win over the Tigers last night, Torf blanked the Tigers in the AHA Championship Game late last season.
Air Force scored four goals in the third period, including two in the first two minutes. Fifty seconds into the period, sophomore defenseman Adam McKenzie scored his first of the season. Chad Demers dropped a pass near the blue line and McKenzie collected it with speed after coming off the bench. He made a move around and a defenseman and fired a wrister past Shane Madolora to tie the game at 1-1. Just over a minute later, Tim Kirby scored his 10th of the season with a wrister from the point. Cole Gunner sent the puck down low and Paul Weisgarber found Kirby at the right point at the 2:01 mark for a 2-1 lead. Midway through the period, Scott Mathis scored a power play goal from Tim Kirby and Kyle De Laurell at 13:22 mark. The power play goal ended a streak of 18 straight Falcon power plays without a goal. Kirby fired a shot from the point that bounced off the back wall. Mathis corralled the puck and shot it from below the goal line, off the skates of the goaltender and into the net for a 3-1 lead. With 1:40 left in the third, RIT pulled its goaltender in favor of the extra attacker. With 1:03 remaining, defenseman Greg Noyes fired a shot from the point through traffic that went over the shoulder of Jason Torf to make the score 3-2. Chris Haltigin and Matt Garbowsky assisted on Noyes' third of the year. With Madolora out of the net again, the Tigers went with the extra attacker for the final 30 seconds. Falcon winger Tony Thomas won a race to a puck on the wall and chipped it out of the zone. After skating through an RIT defenseman, he flipped the puck to Casey Kleisinger who scored an empty-netter with 13 seconds remaining.
RIT outshot Air Force, 34-30, in the game. AFA was 1-for-6 on the power play while RIT was 1-for-5. Torf made a season-high 32 saves for the Falcons while Madolora made 26 for the Tigers.
"We had some great chances in the second period and then we made mistake and they made us pay," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We build our team with defenseman that can skate. That is by design. We would not have had the success that we have had without skill on our blue line. We put the puck on their sticks a lot and tonight they scored three for us."
Air Force returns to the road next weekend with a two-game league series, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 10-11, at 7:05 p.m. ET each night from Dwyer Arena in Niagara Falls, N.Y.