U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --- Air Force scored six unanswered goals for a come-from-behind, 7-4 win over Canisius, in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game, Friday, Feb. 16, at the Cadet Ice Arena. . Canisius is tied for first place in the conference while Air Force moved into a tie for sixth.
Air Force (16-13-4, 11-11-3 AHC) jumped out in front early as Tyler Ledford scored just 22 seconds into the game. The Falcons forced a turnover at the blue line and Evan Giesler’s shot was saved. Ledford put back the rebound for his third of the season. Canisius answered on the power play as Grant Meyer scored on a deflection in front at 3:55. A five-minute major was called on Giesler and the Griffs scored twice on the power play for a 3-1 lead. Cameron Heath scored from the point at 8:02 and Nick Hutchison scored with a shot from behind the goal line, that went off of the stick of Billy Christopoulos, at 11:15.
The Falcons dominated the second period, outshooting the Griffs, 22-3, and scoring three goals. On the power play, Erik Baskin carried the puck behind the net and fed Trevor Stone in the left circle. Stone scored his fourth of the season at 5:16. The Falcons tied the game with their second short-handed goal of the season. Jordan Himley forced a turnover and started a 2-on-1 rush. Himley set up Serratore at 11:57 to tie the game at 3-3. Air Force took the lead at 17:40 with Phil Boje’s first of the season. Freshmen Marshall Bowery and Zach Mirageas collected assists on Boje’s blast from the right point as the Falcons had a 4-3 lead after two.
Air Force scored three goals in a span of six minutes in the third period for a 7-3 lead. Himley scored his seventh of the season at 6:42 on a mini-breakaway. Mirageas made a long outlet pass to Himley in the neutral zone and the senior gave the Falcons a 5-3 lead. The Falcons struck again on the power play as Baskin re-directed a shot from Ledford at 7:20. Serratore then scored his second of the game, 13th of the season, on a 2-on-1 that was similar to the short-handed goal earlier in the game. Himley carried the puck down the right side and set up Serratore in front for a 7-3 lead at 12:35. With 2:03 left in the game, Hutchison scored his second of the game for the Griffs to make the final margin, 7-4.
Air Force had a season high 47 shots, while holding Canisius to 23. The Falcons were 2-for-7 on the power play while Canisius was 3-for-5. Billy Christopoulos made 19 saves. Daniel Urbani started in goal for Canisius and made 36 saves, allowing six goals, and was replaced by Simon Hofley for the final 12:40.
“There is a lot to feel good about tonight,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “When we got down, 3-1, I told the guys to not to worry about the scoreboard and stay focused on the process. I’m very proud of the guys for that. We have proven that we can win on the road and we have proven we can come from behind. Those are two very important attributes to have.”
Air Force and Canisius conclude the two-game series on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 5:05 pm MT at Cadet Ice Arena.