Oct. 8, 2011
GRAND FORKS N.D. - Lee Reimer scored 54 seconds into overtime as Michigan State beat Air Force, 3-2 in overtime, in the consolation game of the 15th annual Icebreaker Classic at Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D.
Air Force, 0-2 overall, scored on the first shift of the game as Casey Kleisinger scored his second goal of the weekend. From behind the goal line, Kleisinger bounced the puck off the back of the goaltender, Will Yanakeff, 27 seconds into the first period. Paul Weisgarber and Stephen Carew assisted on the play.
Michigan State, 1-1 overall, tied the game midway through the second period when Greg Wolfe one-timed Lee Reimer's centering pass past Falcon goalie Jason Torf to tie the game at 8:33. Air Force answered with 1:48 remaining in the second period. John Kruse took the puck out from behind the net and found Scott Mathis at the left point. Mathis caught the puck on his backhand and zipped a forehand wrister through traffic that went over Yanakeff's right shoulder for a 2-1 AFA lead.
MSU tied the game at 5:21 of the third period on the power play. With MSU on the rush, Falcon center George Michalke was back-checking and broke up a pass in the slot. However, the puck ended up right on the stick of Reimer who slid it around Torf's left pad and inside the far post to tie the game. With 4:27 left in the third period, Torf left the game with a groin injury and was replaced by freshman Paul Moberg. Air Force had several chances late in the third period. With just under four minutes remaining, Jason Fabian and Tony Thomas had a 2-on-1 rush and Thomas had a shot on goal that was saved by Yanakeff. Air Force regained the puck in the corner and Spartan Jake Chelios was called for holding, giving Air Force a power play. With just over two minutes left, a slap shot from Mathis clanged off the right post. Air Force had two shots on goal on the power play, but could not convert and the game went into overtime.
In the first minute of overtime, Air Force turned the puck over behind its own net and Reimer scored from the bottom of the right circle. His shot snuck inside the near post 54 seconds into overtime.
Air Force outshot Michigan State, 28-23, in the game. AFA was 0-for-4 on the power play while MSU was 1-for-4. Torf made 20 saves in 56 minutes before he left with the injury. Yanakeff made 26 for the Spartans.
"We put ourselves in position to win both games, but didn't win either one," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We were the perfect tournament opponent. We gave two team character-building wins. I don't see much good in this. We had a lead in the third period of both games and didn't get it done. Not only did we not get it done once, we didn't get it done twice."
Air Force returns home to open conference play at the Cadet Ice Arena, Friday, Oct. 14, against Niagara at 7:05 p.m. AFA then hosts Robert Morris on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 5:05 p.m.