Special teams lead Air Force to 3-1 win over Alberta in exhibition hockey game
Oct. 5, 2008
USAFA, Colo. - Air Force scored two power-play goals in the final 2:12 of the game as the Falcons defeated the University of Alberta, 3-1, in an exhibition college hockey game Sunday, Oct. 5, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force outshot Alberta, 18-3, in the first period but the game was scoreless after one. Just 11 seconds into the second period, Brent Olson scored for a 1-0 Falcon lead. The Alberta goaltender, Real Cyr, went behind the net to play the puck, but Falcon winger Josh Frider got there first and fed Olson in front of the goal. Less than five minutes later, the Golden Bears tied the game when J.P. Szaszkiewicz took a shot from the left point that was saved but Ben Kilgour put back the rebound.
With Air Force on the power play, freshman Scott Mathis fired a shot from the right point that hit a defenseman in front and got past Cyr for a 2-1 Falcon lead. Greg Flynn made the pass to Mathis from the left point. Shortly after the ensuing faceoff, Alberta's Eric Hunter received a five-minute major elbowing penalty for hitting Falcon sophomore Jacques Lamoureux in open ice, putting the Falcons on the power play again. And again, Air Force capitalized. With 24 seconds remaining in the game, Jeff Hajner's wrister from the right circle beat Cyr as teammate Matt Fairchild provided the screen in front.
Air Force outshot Alberta, 43-12, in the game. Cyr made 40 saves for the Golden Bears. Falcon junior goalie Andrew Volkening made 11 saves. AFA was 2-for-8 on the power play while killing all six Alberta man-advantages.
"Overall I am pleased with the game," head coach Frank Serratore said. "They have a terrific goaltender that kept them close. Last year, there were many times when we needed our power-play to come through to win the game and it didn't. Tonight, our special teams came through and put the game away at the end. Our guys did a real good job. We some material to work on, but I have no major complaints."
Alberta, who lost to Denver, 5-4, on Saturday, concludes its Front Range trip against Colorado College, Monday, Oct. 6, at 7:05 p.m.
The Falcons open the regular season on the road with a pair of conference games at Sacred Heart, Friday-Saturday, Oct. 10-11, at 7:05 p.m. Eastern Time each night in Fairfield, Conn. Air Force opens the home regular-season schedule on Oct. 17-18 against Bemidji State.