WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army goalie Cole Bruns made 33 saves as the Black Knights defeated Air Force, 1-0, in game two of the Atlantic Hockey Conference quarterfinal series, Saturday, March 10, at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y.
Air Force won, 5-3, in game one. Game three of this AHC quarterfinal series is Sunday, March 11, at 7:05 pm ET. The winner advances to the AHC Final Four, March 16-17, in Rochester, N.Y.
Air Force (19-14-5 overall) controlled play early in the first period, but the first penalty of the game went against the Falcons and Army (15-14-6 overall) took the early lead. Dominic Franco received the puck at the post to the right of Billy Christopoulos and then centered it to Zach Evancho in the slot. Evancho scored his eighth of the season at 8:29 for a 1-0 lead. Air Force then outshot Army, 8-1, over the next eight minutes, and had a power play, but were not able to tie the score. The Falcons outshot the Black Knights, 11-6, in the first period.
The Falcons outshot the Black Knights, 11-5, in the second period, and had almost six minutes of power play time, but were unable to get anything past Bruns.
Air Force pulled its goalie in the final 1:50 and had two shots, one that was saved by Bruns and another that was blocked by the Army defense.
“What a hard-fought game this was,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “We had some shots, but we couldn’t convert. They scored a beautiful power-play goal. The power play is the strength of their game and they move it really well. If our season ends tomorrow, we have one thing to blame - our power play. We had a 5-on-3, two 4-on-3’s and had six power plays. You can’t win if you can’t score. Bruns was good tonight and made some big saves. It doesn’t surprise me that this series is going three games. We will have to come with some mental toughness tomorrow. We know Army will, and we have to match that and find a way to score some goals.”
Air Force outshot Army, 33-18. The Falcons were 0-for-6 on the power play while Army was 1-for-3. Billy Christopoulos made 17 saves for the Falcons. Army had 28 blocked shots in the game.