Falcons open season with 4-1 win at Sacred Heart
Oct. 10, 2008
USAFA, Colo. - Air Force scored two special teams goals and Andrew Volkening stopped 27 of 28 shots as Air Force opened the season with a 4-1 win over Sacred Heart in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Friday, Oct. 10, at the Milford Ice Pavilion in Milford, Conn. The game was the season opener for both teams. Air Force is now 1-0 on the season while Sacred Heart is 0-1.
After a scoreless first period, a wild second period got off to a quick start. Just one minute into the second period, SHU's Evan Mladenoff had a breakaway opportunity and Falcon defenseman Greg Flynn was called for tripping, giving Mladenoff a penalty shot. Mladenhoff's wrister from the right side of the slot was saved by Volkening, keeping the game scoreless.
Air Force struck first when Brent Olson fired a wrister from the left circle past SHU goalie Stefan Drew. The Falcons' first goal of the season was assisted by Olson's linemates Josh Frider and Jacques Lamoureux. Sixty eight seconds later, the Falcons lit the lamp again, this time short-handed. As Air Force defenseman Greg Flynn cleared the puck out of his own zone, Matt Fairchild's speed led to a Falcon goal. Fairchild hustled past a Pioneer defenseman and collected the puck at the top of the left circle in the SHU end. His wrister beat Drew through the five hole for a 2-0 lead. The Pioneers answered on that same power play as Nick Johnson scored to make the score 2-1. With 19 seconds left in the period, Air Force took a 3-1 lead. With the Falcons buzzing around the SHU goal, Mike Phillipich took a shot that was saved, but freshman Paul Weisgarber put back the rebound for his first collegiate goal. Scott Kozlak also assisted in the play.
Midway through the third period, Sacred Heart's Corey Laurysen was called for a major penalty when he checked Falcon center Jacques Lamoureux from behind into the boards. The penalty gave the Falcons a five-minute power play. The Falcons capitalized and it was Lamoureux that scored his first collegiate goal. Michal Mayra passed to Olson who sent the puck down low to Lamoureux. The sophomore's shot, from a tough angle near the goal line, bounced off the goaltender's shoulder and flipped into the net.
"This game was much tighter than the 4-1 scored indicated," head coach Frank Serratore said. "Our goaltender was better than their goalie tonight. The difference in the game was Volkening stopping the penalty shot and then Fairchild's short-handed goal. They are a team of opportunists and they had some good chances tonight, but Volks made some big stops for us. Also, we talk a lot about our depth and three of our four lines scored tonight."
Air Force outshot Sacred Heart, 36-28, in the game and had a 16-8 advantage in the third period. Volkening made 27 saves while Drew had 32 for SHU. AFA was 1-for-6 on the power play and killed six of seven Pioneer man-advantages.
The same two teams conclude the two-game league series Saturday, Oct. 11, at 7:05 p.m. ET. Air Force opens the home schedule Friday-Saturday, Oct. 17-18, at 7:05 p.m. MST each night at the Cadet Ice Arena.