Oct. 14, 2012
John Kruse scored with 0.2 seconds remaining in regulation as Air Force and Alaska-Anchorage skated to a 3-3 overtime tie in the championship game of the Kendall Hockey Classic at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. With a 1-0-1 record in the tournament, the Seawolves won the classic for the second straight season. Air Force and Canisius tied for second while Alaska-Fairbanks was fourth.
Air Force opened the scoring in the first two minutes of the game. Senior Stephen Carew took the puck off the side boards and skated through traffic into the slot. His wrister beat Rob Gunderson high glove side for a 1-0 lead at 1:36. The Falcons took a 2-0 lead at the 7:51 mark of the first period. Tony Thomas collected a loose puck in the neutral zone and took a shot from between the red line and the blue line. His wrister also beat Gunderson on the glove side. In the second half of the period, UAA spent a lot of the time in the Air Force zone and got on the board at the 12:18 mark on the first shot on goal. After Air Force dumped the puck on goal and went for a change, Gunderson started the rush from his own end. Matt Bailey skated into the zone and dropped the puck for Jordan Kwas who scored from the right circle.
Midway through the second period, the Seawolves tied the game at 2-2 with a short-handed goal. The Falcons turned the puck over at their own blue line and Matt Bailey skated in uncontested on Jason Torf and tied the game at 9:38.
The Seawolves took a 3-2 lead late in the third period on the rush. The Seawolves again caught the Falcons in a line change and Blake Leask fed Alex Gellart at the blue line. Gellart skated down the slot for his first of the season with 5:27 remaining. With just over a minute remaining, Air Force pulled its goaltender in favor of the extra skater. Then with 33 seconds left, a too many men on the ice penalty was called on UAA and the Falcons had a two-man advantage. With 17 seconds left, the Falcons had a faceoff in the offensive zone. Chad Demers won the faceoff and Kyle De Laurell pushed it back to Adam McKenzie at the point. McKenzie's shot went through traffic and the puck ended up in the corner. With three seconds left, the puck came out of the corner and ended up in the slot when Kruse scored his first of the season to tie the game with 0.2 seconds remaining. Each team had one shot in overtime, but neither scored.
"The bottom line is that we gave up a two-goal lead, we gave up two goals on bad line changes and gave up a shortie," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We didn't play winning hockey tonight. We have a veteran lineup and we have to manage the game better than that. We were built to win this tournament. We had it on a platter right in front of us and we let it get away. We failed to get it done and that is unacceptable."
Air Force, 0-0-2 overall, returns home to face Colorado College on Friday, Oct, 19, at 7:05 p.m. at the Cadet Ice Arena.