Falcons and Yellow Jackets skate to 2-2 overtime tie
Feb. 29, 2008
U.S.A.F. ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force and AIC skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday night, Feb. 29, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force is now 16-11-6 overall and 13-9-5 in the AHA. AIC is 8-20-5 overall and 8-16-3 in the league. With the point, Air Force moved into a tie for third place in the league with Sacred Heart with 31 points. Army clinched the No. 1 seed in the tournament and at least a share of the regular-season title with a 6-1 win over Sacred Heart tonight to get to 35 points. RIT is in second place with 33 points. Air Force holds the tiebreaker over both Sacred Heart and RIT. Depending on the outcome of Saturday's games, Air Force could still finish second, third or fourth, but a win on Saturday would clinch at least the No. 3 seed for the Falcons.
Air Force scored first when defenseman Greg Flynn took a shot from the left point that beat Tom Fenton at the 3:01 mark of the opening period. Matt Fairchild fed Brad Sellers at the right point who slid the puck across to Flynn. His sixth of the season gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
AIC answered at the 10:30 mark when David Turco split two Air Force defensemen at the blue line and skated in uncontested on Andrew Volkening. His fourth of the season was assisted by Mike McMillan and Mike Little.
AIC took a 2-1 lead just 29 seconds into the second period. Greg Genovese won a faceoff in the offensive end and Chris Bolognino blasted a slap shot from the left circle for a 2-1 lead. AFA tied the game on the power play at the 10:24 mark. Brent Olson fed Josh Frider down low and the junior winger scored his 11th of the season from the top of the crease. Mike Phillipich also assisted on the play.
Neither team scored in the third period, but both goaltenders came up big late in the game. Midway through the third, Falcon freshman Sean Bertsch hit the post on a wrister from the right circle as the game remained tied. With less than three minutes remaining, Volkening stopped a breakaway by AIC's Chad Richardson. Then with a minute left in regulation, Fenton stopped Olson from point-blank range as the game went into overtime.
In the first minute of overtime, Volkening stopped AIC's leading scorer, Jereme Tendler, on a two-on-one breakaway with a pad save. After a penalty on AIC's Chris Campanale, Air Force went on the power play. Frider and Jeff Hajner both had shots that were denied by Fenton.
"Sometimes you have to give your opponent credit," head coach Frank Serratore said. "Their coach (Gary Wright) did as fine of a coaching job as I've seen in a long time. They had a great game plan and took away our strengths. I don't feel bad about the tie, because it could have been a loss. They were a difficult team to play against tonight. There was no open ice. We know what we are up against on Saturday and we know what we have to do."
Air Force outshot AIC, 24-14, in the game as the Falcons were held to their third-fewest shots this season. Fenton made 22 stops while Volkening had 12. AFA was 1-for-4 on the power play. AIC was 0-for-2.
Air Force and AIC conclude the two-game league series Saturday, March 1, at 7:05 p.m. at the Cadet Ice Arena. The game is the regular season finale for both teams.