Mercyhurst beats Air Force, 5-3
Nov. 2, 2007
U.S.A.F. ACADEMY, Colo. - Mercyhurst scored two power-play goals late in the second period to defeat Air Force, 5-3, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Nov. 2, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
AFA fell to 3-2-0 overall and 1-2-0 in the AHA. Mercyhurst collected its first win of the season and improved to 1-5-1 overall and 1-1-1 in the AHA.
Mercyhurst got on the board first with 11 seconds left in the first period. A turnover deep in the Air Force end resulted in a 1-0 Laker lead. Ryan Toomey stepped in front of a Greg Flynn pass and skated around the back of the net. Toomey found Steve Cameron wide open on the left side of the crease. Cameron scored his first goal of the season on the play.
The Lakers took a 2-0 lead at the 6:26 mark of the second period just after a Falcon power play ended. Air Force sent an errant pass from down low that was intercepted by Kerry Bowman. Then, as the power play ended, Mercyhurst's Derek Fisher came on the ice and took the pass at the AFA blue line. He skated in uncontested on goalie Andrew Volkening and scored.
Air Force answered with two goals in a span of 48 seconds. Senior defenseman Frank Schiavone scored at the 6:57 mark. Owen Kelly passed to Blake Page on the right wing and the freshman made a cross-ice pass to bottom of the left circle. Schiavone was crashing the net and dove to tip the puck past Ryan Zapolski. Less than a minute later, the Falcons tied the game when they created a turnover in the Mercyhurst end. Mercyhurst tried to wrap the puck around the boards and Michael Mayra picked it off at the left point. His slap shot got past a screen by Scott Kozlak at the 7:45 mark. The goals gave the Falcons the momentum at the time, but it was taken away with two Laker power-play goals in the final five minutes of the second period.
Laker center Scott Pitt's two power-play goals gave Mercyhurst a 4-2 advantage. His first came at 14:13 on a scramble in front of the net. His second came at 19:12 on a rebound of a Ben Cottreau shot.
Air Force gave the 1,611 fans in attendance something to cheer about late in the third period. With 3:00 remaining, the Falcons pulled Volkening from the net in favor of the extra attacker. With 1:40 remaining, defenseman Matt Charbonneau scored to cut the deficit to 4-3. Freshman Derrick Burnett made a pass from behind the net to Charbonneau at the right post. The senior assistant captain's first shot was saved, but Charbonneau batted the puck out of the air for his first of the season.
With 22 seconds left, Ryan Toomey scored an empty-net goal to put the game away.
AFA out-shot Mercyhurst, 37-30, including a 12-5 advantage in the third period. AFA was 0-for-7 on the power play while MC was 2-for-5. Zapolski made 34 saves for the Lakers. Volkening made 25 for the Falcons.
"We were just not very sharp and not very good," head coach Frank Serratore said. "They are opportunists and their high-end skill players were better than ours. They worked harder and they deserved to win tonight. We have a long way to go."
Air Force and Mercyhurst conclude the two-game series Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Cadet Ice Arena.