Harper and Falcons blank RIT, 3-0
Nov. 3, 2006
U.S.A.F. ACADEMY, Colo. - Ian Harper stopped all 24 shots he faced as Air Force blanked RIT, 3-0, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday night, Nov. 3, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force improved to 4-5 overall and 2-1 in the AHA. RIT fell to 3-4-1 overall and 3-1 in the league.
In a fast-paced first period, neither team was able to score. RIT did not get its first shot on goal until the 6:42 mark and had gotten outshot, 9-0, up to that point. Air Force had a season-high 19 shots in the first period while RIT had 10.
The tempo did not lessen in the second period as each team had quality chances early on. RIT goalie Jocelyn Guimond, who had 19 saves in the first period, stopped Michael Mayra and Jeff Hajner from point-blank range early in the second period. Midway through the period, RIT's Simon Lambert and Brad Harris both hit pipes.
The Falcons broke the scoreless tie on the power-play as freshman Matt Fairchild scored his third of the season at the 17:22 mark. Josh Schaffer fed Greg Flynn at the point and his slap shot was blocked in front. Fairchild was in front of the net to clean up the loose puck.
Schaffer then netted his first goal of the season at 6:04 of the third period to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead. Frank Schiavone made a long outlet pass to Schaffer in the neutral zone who skated down the right wing. His wrister went high to beat Guimond glove side. With 4:36 remaining in the third period, Tiger Ricky Walton was called for a checking from behind penalty giving the Falcons a five-minute power-play. Air Force capitalized as Theo Zacour scored his first of the season. Brent Olson dug the puck out of the corner and fed Zacour on the half boards. Zacour skated to the bottom of the circle and flipped a backhand in for a 3-0 lead.
Harper, a junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., recorded his first career shutout. It was Air Force's first shutout win of the season and the first since a 5-0 win over Alabama-Huntsville, Feb. 18, 2006. He stopped 10 shots in the first period and nine in the third as he kept the nets clean for Air Force. Guimond made 33 saves for RIT. Air Force was 2-for-10 on the power play while RIT was 0-for-4. The Falcons out-shot RIT, 36-24, in the game.
The same two teams conclude the series Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at the Cadet Ice Arena.