Nov. 4, 2011
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - John Kruse scored the game-winner early in the third period as Air Force beat Sacred Heart, 2-1, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Nov. 4, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force, 4-2-2 overall and 3-0-1 in the AHA, opened the scoring at 15:37 of the first period on the power play. Scott Mathis gave the puck to Cole Gunner on the left side and his shot was knocked down in front. Chad Demers collected the loose puck in front and fired it past Stephen Legatto for his third of the season. AFA held a 12-3 shot advantage in the first 16 minutes, but Sacred Heart outshot Air Force, 4-0, in the final four minutes.
Midway through the second period, Air Force had 68 seconds of a 5-on-3, but were unable to convert. The Falcons had five shots on goal on the 5-on-3, but Legatto denied the Falcons. On the remainder of the power play, AFA had six shots that were saved, three that were blocked by defensemen and one that hit the post of the stick of Kyle De Laurell. Late in the period, Air Force skated the puck into the zone and sent the puck around the boards. As the Falcon defenseman were changing, Pioneer freshman Brian Sheehan picked up the puck on the far side in the neutral zone and skate in uncontested. His slap shot from the top of the right circle beat Stephen Caple to tie the game with 3:31 remaining in the second period. The Falcons had another chance late in the period when Adam McKenzie and Tim Kirby started a rush and Gunner snuck in all alone. He went to his backhand and Legatto knocked it away with less than a minute left in the period. \ Early in the third period, Falcon junior John Kruse gave Air Force a 2-1 lead. Jacob Musselman sent the puck up ice to Ryan Timar who skated down the left side. After avoiding a hit, he centered the puck and Kruse tipped it in at 1:47 of the third. AFA held a 9-0 shot advantage in the first seven minutes of the third period. AFA outshot Sacred Heart, 13-2, in the third period. The Falcons outshot the Pioneers, 38-14, in the game. AFA was 1-for-5 on the power play while SHU was 0-for-4. Caple made 13 saves while Legatto made 36 for the Pioneers.
"This was a hard-fought game and I give our guys a lot of credit," head coach Frank Serratore said. "Our penalty kill was terrific. We haven't won very many third periods this season, but we did tonight."
Air Force and Sacred Heart (0-7-0, 0-3-0 AHA) conclude the two-game series on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7:35 p.m. at the Cadet Ice Arena.