Mercyhurst beats Air Force, 6-2

Nov. 5, 2010

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AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Mercyhurst broke 1-1 tie with three goals in the second period for a 6-2 win over Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Nov. 5, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.

Air Force fell to 1-5-0 overall and 1-3-0 in the AHA. Mercyhurst improved to 1-4-1 and 1-2-0 in the league.

For the first time all season, Air Force allowed the first goal of the game. Mercyhurst opened the scoring at the 5:48 mark when Daniel O'Donoghue knocked down a clear attempt by Air Force against the boards. His centering pass found Ryan Raven in the slot who moved the puck from his backhand to his forehand and slid it inside the far post. Air Force answered at the 15:10 mark on the power play. Scott Mathis fired a one-timer from Tim Kirby that beat Ryan Zapolski under the left pad. Jacques Lamoureux also assisted on the play as John Kruse provided a screen in front of the goaltender.

Mercyhurst controlled the early half of the second period and outshot Air Force 11-1 in the first nine minutes. Steven Caple made all the stops and the score remained 1-1. The Lakers then erupted for three goals in a span of seven minutes, two in 21 seconds, for a 4-1 lead. O'Donoghue gave the Lakers a 2-1 lead at 12:26 when he put back a rebound of a Kyle Just shot. With 60 seconds left in the period, O'Donoghue scored again for a 3-1 lead. Raven made a cross-ice pass to O'Donoghue who was wide open on the far side. Then, just 21 seconds later, and on the ensuing faceoff, Grant Blakey picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated down the left side and sent a wrister past Caple. His unassisted goal came with 39 seconds left in the period.

Air Force cut the Laker deficit to two goals at the 6:09 mark of the third period. Air Force's second line scored on the rush to make the score 4-2. Blake Page found George Michalke in the middle of the ice. Michalke pushed it ahead to Scott Kozlak who put the puck on his backhand and went high for his first of the season. The Lakers answered with the next two goals of the game. Laker defenseman Nick Jones sprung Scott Pitt on a breakaway with a long outlet pass and Pitt scored his first of the season through the five hole at 8:03. Just over two minutes later, Mercyhurst built 6-2 lead when Taylor Holstrom skated down the left wing and fired a slap shot that rang under the cross bar.

The Falcons outshot the Lakers, 34-29, in the game. AFA was 1-for-4 on the power play while Mercyhurst was 0-for-2. Zapolski made 32 saves for the Lakers while Caple tied his career high with 23 saves for Air Force.

"Mercyhurst deserved to win the game tonight," head coach Frank Serratore said. "They were more determined, they worked harder, they were stronger on the puck and they played with more desperation than we did. We are not a very difficult team to play against right now. We got out-worked tonight and I can probably count on my hand how many times that has happened since I've been here."

Air Force hosts RIT in an Atlantic Hockey game Sunday, Nov. 7, at 6:05 p.m. MT at the Cadet Ice Arena. --30--



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