PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Air Force and Robert Morris skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game Saturday, Feb. 24, at Colonials Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa. It was the final regular season game for both teams.
With the tie, Air Force finished tied for third in the AHC with Holy Cross and Army. Due to tiebreakers, Air Force is the No. 5 seed in the AHC Tournament. The Falcons get a bye in the first round and will travel to No. 4 seed Army in the AHC Quarterfinals, March 9-11, in West Point.
The Colonials took the early lead as Alex Tonge scored on a rebound of Brady Ferguson’s shot at 4:07. RMU outshot Air Force, 4-0, in the first five minutes. In the final 15 minutes, the Falcons outshot the Colonials, 10-0, but were unable to find the back of the net.
Air Force (18-13-5 overall, 13-11-4 AHC) took the first 10 shots of the second period and tied the game off of an offensive zone faceoff. Brady Tomlak won the draw and Phil Boje whistled a shot from the center point that tied the game at 1-1 at 9:08. Four minutes later, the Falcons took their first lead of the game. On the rush, Tomlak gained the zone down the left wing and centered the puck from the bottom of the circle. Freshman Marshall Bowery tipped it in at 13:06 for a 2-1 lead.
Robert Morris (13-18-3, 13-12-3 AHC) tied the game with just under three minutes left in the third. Timmy Moore took a shot from the top of the left circle that was tipped in by Brady Ferguson at 17:05. The Colonials outshot the Falcons, 11-4, in the third period.
In overtime, the Falcons pulled the goalie with 1:20 left in the tie game, having to go for the win to secure home ice in the quarter finals. Each team had two shots on goal in overtime. In final 1:20, with the extra attacker on, the Falcons had two quality chances, the last one coming when Tomlak won a faceoff and Erik Baskin had a shot from the slot.
Air Force outshot RMU, 29-21, in the game. Air Force was 0-for-3 on the power play while RMU was 0-for-2. Billy Christopoulos made 19 saves while Francis Marotte made 27.
“Our team responded tonight,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “We were lucky last night, but we were much better tonight. Our guys were dialed in and competed hard. The biggest thing for us was getting the week off and we did. Army is a heckuva hockey team and this will be a great series. Our games with Army are always hard-fought battles and this should be a classic series.”