Air Force beats Bentley, 9-2, in game one of three-game series
March 7, 2008
U.S.A.F. ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force scored seven goals in the second period en route to a 9-2 win over Bentley in the first game of a best of three Atlantic Hockey Association Quarterfinal series, Friday, March 7, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
The teams will play again on Saturday, March 8, at 7:05 pm MT at the Cadet Ice Arena. If Air Force wins, the series is over. If Bentley wins, the teams will play Sunday, March 9, at 7:05 pm MT. Tickets are available at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com or by calling the athletic ticket office at 1-800-666-USAF.
The winner of the series advances to the AHA Final Five, March 14-16, at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. The winner of the Final Five receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Air Force, the No. 3 seed, improved to 18-11-6 overall. Bentley, the No. 8 seed, fell to 9-20-6.
Nine different Falcons scored in the game. Sixteen of the 18 skaters registered at least one point, all four lines scored, including three goals by defensemen, and no Falcon had more than three points in the game.
The game was tied at 1-1 at the end of the first period. Josh Schaffer opened the scoring for Air Force at the 9:01 mark when he tipped in a point shot by Greg Flynn. Two minutes later, Bentley's Pat Percella scored from Bobby Preece on a tough angle shot from the left side. Late in the first period, Air Force killed off nearly one minute of a 5-on-3 Bentley advantage to keep the score tied.
The second period was all Air Force. The Falcons scored three goals in a span of 2:04 in the first five minutes of the period. Derrick Burnett scored on the power play at the 2:50 mark from Brett Nylander and Jeff Hajner. Scott Kozlak's ninth of the season gave the Falcons a 3-1 lead at the 4:18 mark. As Bentley goalie Joe Calvi tried to sweep the puck to the corner, Brent Olson intercepted it and centered the puck behind his back. Josh Frider touched the pass to the weak side and Kozlak gave Air Force a 3-1 lead. Just 36 seconds later, Sean Bertsch scored for a 4-1 lead with a wrister from the top of the right circle. Following his goal, Calvi was replaced by Nick Moise in goal. AFA greeted Moise by scoring less than two minutes later on the power play. Mike Phillipich put back a rebound from Matt Charbonneau at the 7:22 mark.
Air Force took a 6-1 lead at 9:33 when Brett Nylander scored from Hajner and Burnett with a one-timer from the right circle. Blake Page scored on an odd-man rush at the 13:05 mark from Owen Kelly and Brad Sellers. Greg Flynn gave the Falcons an 8-1 lead with a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 16:37.
Each team scored once in the third period to make the final margin 9-2. Sellers scored by Bertsch and Phillipich at 7:26. Bentley scored the final goal of the game at 12:49 when Jeff Gumaer scored from Anthony Canzoneri and Dain Prewitt.
Air Force outshot Bentley, 36-18, in the game. AFA was 3-for-8 on the power play while Bentley was 0-for-7. Andrew Volkening made 16 saves for Air Force. Calvi made 13 saves while allowing four goals in 24 minutes and took the loss. Moise stopped 14 of the 19 shots he faced.
Nylander (1-2-3) and Hajner (0-3-3) each had three points in the game. Burnett, Frider, Bertsch, Phillipich, Flynn and Sellers all had two points.
"Everything that could possibly go wrong for them did tonight," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We were clearly the better team tonight. But all this means is we have one-game lead in the series. The goals don't carry over into tomorrow. This is a series and our guys know that. Bentley is proud team and we know that tomorrow is going to be much tougher. Our objective was to win the first game and we accomplished that tonight."