Air Force earns first win of season with 5-4 victory over RIT
Oct. 23, 2009
USAFA, Colo . - Tim Kirby scored with 1:45 remaining in the third period as Air Force earned its first win of the season with a 5-4 victory over RIT in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Friday night, Oct. 23, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force improved to 1-4 overall and 1-0 in the AHA. RIT fell to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the league.
With 1:45 left in a 4-4 game, the Falcons kept the puck in the RIT zone for several minutes. Kirby took the puck down the left boards and behind and the net. He stopped, walked out in front of the goal and stuffed the puck in for his first goal of the season. The win broke a four-game losing streak, the longest since late in the 2006-07 season.
In the first period, Air Force killed four consecutive minutes of RIT power plays as Andrew Volkening made seven saves in those four minutes. However, in the final minute of the period, Dan Ringwald took a shot from the left point that was saved, but Sean Murphy collected the rebound in the slot, skated around the out-stretched stick of Volkening and scored his first of the season.
A wild second period saw the Falcons score four goals, but RIT battled back. Less than three minutes into the second period, freshman Danny Durham scored on a rebound. Freshman Kyle De Laurell's wrap around shot was saved, but Durham tied the game with his first career goal. Matt Fairchild gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 5:26. De Laurell made a great pass from behind the net and Fairchild scored his second of the season. AFA took a 3-1 lead when Brad Sellers took a shot from the high slot and got through traffic for his first of the year. De Laurell and fellow freshman John Kruse assisted on the play. RIT answered two minutes later when Mike Janda scored on a rebound in front. Freshman Stephen Carew's second career goal was a short-handed effort to give the Falcons a 4-1 lead at 17:35. Sellers created a turnover in his own end and fed Fairchild who led a 2-on-2 rush. Carew's shot from the top of the right circle beat goalie Jared DeMichiel. On the same power play, RIT answered just 18 seconds later. Chris Haltigin scored on a shot from the right point to cut the Falcon lead to 4-3. The Tigers tied the game with a short-handed goal at 2:35 of the third period. Andrew Favot won a faceoff in the neutral zone and then got the puck back from Adam Hartley in the high slot. Favot's slap shot beat Volkening to tie the score at 4-4. The score remained tied a 4-4 until late in the third when Kirby netted the game-winner.
"It feels great to get the 500-pound gorilla off our back and get our first win," head coach Frank Serratore said. "For us to win, we have to deserve to win. That goal that Kirby scored was workmanlike. We had the puck in their zone for a long time and I think they may have fatigued. We had to overcome some adversity tonight. They scored first and then we got the lead and they came back on us."
RIT out-shot Air Force, 41-38, in the game. RIT was 1-for-4 on the power play while AFA was 1-for-3. Volkening made a season high 37 saves while DeMichiel had 33.
Air Force extended its school record sellout streak to 11 straight games as 2,822 watched Air Force get its first win of the season.
The same two teams conclude the series Saturday, Oct. 24, at Cadet Ice Arena at 7:05 p.m.