Falcons fall to Mercyhurst, 3-1
Feb. 8, 2008
ERIE, Penn. - Mercyhurst scored two goals in the third period for a 3-1 win over Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Feb. 8, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Penn.
Mercyhurst improved to 10-14-5 overall and 10-6-5 in the AHA. Air Force fell to 13-11-5 overall and 10-9-4 in the league.
In the first period, Air Force had some quality chances but was unable to beat Laker goalie Matt Lundin. AFA outshot Mercyhurst, 13-5, in the opening period, but it was Mercyhurst that held a 1-0 lead after one period. On the power play, Mercyhurst's Brandon Coccimiglio knocked down an attempted clear by Air Force and Dan Bremner scored his third of the season for a 1-0 lead.
Mercyhurst broke the tie in the third period when Brandon Coccimiglio scored at the 14:33 mark. Mike Gurtler tipped the puck from behind the net to the slot. Coccimiglio scored hit eighth of the season for a 2-1 Laker lead with just over five minutes remaining.
With 1:28 left in the third period, Air Force pulled its goaltender in favor of the extra attacker. The Falcons sent several pucks through the crease and looked like they tied the game with 24 seconds left. A puck was redirected at the top of the crease and slid over the goaline. However, the net came loose just before the puck went in and the goal was disallowed. On the play, Mercyhurst was called for a penalty giving Air Force a two-man advantage with the goaltender pulled. Then with 16 seconds remaining, Bobby Pierce scored a short-handed empty-net to seal the win over the Lakers.
Air Force outshot Mercyhurst, 38-22, in the game. AFA was 0-for-4 on the power play while MC was 2-4 and scored a short-handed goal. Volkening made 19 saves for the Falcons while Lundin made 37 for the Lakers.
"It's disheartening because I thought we played really well," head coach Frank Serratore said. "I don't know that we played a better game all year territorially. The games, as they often do, come down to the special teams and goaltending. Their goaltender was excellent and we were a minus three on special teams. I don't fault Volkening, he only gave up two goals in the game, but I do fault our special teams. I don't think we played a game this year better than tonight, we just couldn't score."
The same two teams conclude the two-game series Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7:05 EST at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.