Air Force clinches regular-season title with 3-0 win at Robert Morris
Feb. 25, 2012
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Air Force clinched the regular season championship and a the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament with a 3-0 win over Robert Morris in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Clearview Arena in Moon Township, Pa. Air Force concludes the regular season with a 17-9-7 overall record and a 15-6-6 mark in the AHA. Robert Morris fell to 15-14-5 overall and 13-9-5 in the league.
Jason Torf stopped all 24 shots he faced for his fourth shutout in the last 11 starts. Freshman Scott Holm scored the game-winner with his first career power-play goal. John Kruse and Scott Mathis also scored for the Falcons.
After a scoreless first period, Air Force scored two goals in the second. The Falcons opened the second period with 1:39 left on a power play. As the power play was winding down, defenseman Adam McKenzie carried the puck into the zone and left a drop pass for Scott Holm. Holm went high for his third goal of the season and first career power-play goal to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead at 1:35 of the second period. With just over five minutes remaining in the second period, RMU's Brandon Blandina had a short-handed breakaway and Torf made a kick save. AFA took a 2-0 lead in the final minute of the second period. Paul Weisgarber won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Adam McKenzie took a shot that was saved. John Kruse put back the rebound for his 14th of the season at 19:15.
The Falcons took a 3-0 lead on the power play midway through the third period. Kyle De Laurell made a no-look pass through the slot to Scott Mathis on the weak post. Mathis scored is seventh of the season at the 12:16 mark from De Laurell and Chad Demers.
Air Force outshot RMU, 34-24, including a 25-12 in the final two periods. AFA was 2-for-4 on the power play while RMU was 0-for-3. Torf made 24 saves for the Falcons while Brooks Ostgergard made 31 for the Colonials.
"What a great win against a tough opponent," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We have been under great pressure the last couple games. After last night's heartbreaker, it felt great to win this one. I am so proud of our guys. Robert Morris is a very good team. This is just what the doctor ordered."
Air Force is off next weekend and will host a best of three quarterfinal series, Friday-Saturday, March 9-10 (March 11 if necessary), at the Cadet Ice Arena. Tickets for season ticket holders are on sale now at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com. Tickets for the general public will be on sale on Monday, March 5 at the official web site.