Air Force beats Sacred Heart, 8-1
Feb. 27, 2010
USAFA, Colo. - Air Force scored a season high eight goals as the Falcons beat Sacred Heart, 8-1, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.
With the win, Air Force clinches third place in the AHA and will face sixth-seeded Army in the AHA quarterfinals, March 12-14, at Cadet Ice Arena. The Falcons improved to 14-14-6 overall and 14-8-6 in the AHA. Sacred Heart will be the No. 2 seed in the AHA Tournament. The Pioneers closed out the regular season with an 18-12-4 overall mark and a 16-9-3 league record.
Sacred Heart took the game to Air Force in the first five minutes, out-shooting the Falcons 5-1. After Andrew Volkening made all five saves, it was all Air Force for the next 55 minutes. The Falcons outshot the Pioneers, 15-3, in the final 15 minutes and scored three goals in a span of 3:33. Blake Page opened the scoring at 16:05. With Sacred Heart on the power play, Page intercepted a pass at the blue line, skated in uncontested and stuffed it past Steven Legatto on the short side just before crashing into the net. Just over two minutes later, Jacques Lamoureux scored on a rebound of a shot by Tim Kirby. Stephen Carew started the rush in the neutral zone and Kirby took a shot from the right circle. Legatto made a pad save and Lamoureux put back the rebound at 18:44. Lamoureux scored his second of the game and 20th goal of the season with 22 seconds left in the period on the power play. Standing in the right circle, Lamoureux snapped a wrister through a Kyle De Laurell screen that beat Legatto through the five-hole. Kirby assisted on the play.
The Falcons scored four goals in the second period for a 7-0 lead after the first 40 minutes. Page's second short-handed goal of the game and the season came at 8:59. Scott Mathis made a long outlet pass while on the penalty kill and Page was all alone in the neutral zone. Page made a highlight-film goal and skated in slowly on the goaltender, stopped and pulled the puck back to him. With Legatto on the ice, Page slid the puck around his pad for a 4-0 lead. Stephen Carew gave the Falcons a 5-0 lead on the power play at 12:15. Burnett and Kirby assisted as Carew's wrister from the top of the left circle hit the inside of the far post and went in. Burnett gave the Falcons a 6-0 lead at 16:35. Kirby sent a pass from his own end to Lamoureux in the neutral zone who chipped it in to Burnett. The junior winger made a move around a defender in the left circle, skated across the slot and fired a wrister over the glove of Legatto. The Falcons took a 7-0 lead with 20 seconds left in the second period on the power play. Kirby and Mathis played catch at the point and Mathis wristed a shot that was redirected by De Laurell a the top of the crease.
Early in the third period, the Falcons took an 8-0 lead on a line rush by the fourth line. Matt Becker took a shot that was saved but Sean Bertsch snuck in and punched the puck under the pad of reserve goaltender Olivier St. Onge. SHU broke up the shutout at 7:19. Volkening went behind the net to control a puck, but lost it and Matt Gingera brought it back in front to make the score 8-1. Shortly after the goal, Volkening came off the ice to a standing ovation as sophomore Stephan Caple played the next six minutes. Freshman David Bosner came on and played the final six minutes between the pipes.
Air Force outshot Sacred Heart, 48-32, in the game. The Falcons were 3-for-9 on the power play while SHU was 0-for3. Volkening made 19 saves while allowing one goal. Caple made three saves while Bosner made nine.
"For us to score 14 goals in just over five periods after we have struggled to score the last six games, I would have never thought that," head coach Frank Serratore said. "I knew we would compete well on our ice and I was very optimistic. I wasn't real pleased with our start, but part of that is a credit to the opponent. For us to be successful we have to be strong in goal which we are. We also have to be strong on special teams and we have to get contributions from everyone. This weekend, everything fell into place for us."
Air Force is off until the Falcons face Army in the Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinal best-of-three series, Friday-Saturday, March 12-13, at 7:05 p.m. each night. If necessary, a deciding third game will be played Sunday, March 14, at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com or by calling the ticket office at 719-472-1895 or 1-800-666-USAF.