Kozlak's goal gives Air Force a 2-1 win over RIT in overtime
Nov. 9, 2007
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Freshman Scott Kozlak's goal at the 1:40 mark of overtime lifted Air Force to a 2-1 win over RIT in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Nov. 9, in Rochester, N.Y.
Air Force improved to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in the AHA. RIT fell to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the league. RIT was the coaches pick to win the AHA. AFA was picked to finish second.
RIT jumped ahead in the first two minutes of the game. Matt Smith scored from Matt Harris and Ricky Walton at the 1:40 mark. RIT outshot AFA, 14-5, in the opening period with most of the shots coming on the power play. RIT had nearly 90 seconds of 5-on-3 in the opening period, but the Falcons came away unscathed. Neither team scored in the second period as AFA had a 10-9 shot advantage.
Midway through the third period, a rush up ice led to an Air Force goal. Sophomore Brett Nylander put back a rebound to tie the score at 1-1 at the 9:56 mark from Burnett and Olson. The goal was Nylander's fourth of the season to lead the team. AFA had a power play in the final minute of the third period, but did not capitalize and the game went into overtime.
Early in the overtime period, the Falcons' freshman line of Kozlak, Owen Kelly and Blake Page gave the Falcons their third league win. Page carried the puck into the zone down the left wing. Page fed Kelly who found Kozlak right in front. Kozlak's shot beat RIT goalie Louis Menard for the first game-winner of his career.
Falcon goalie Andrew Volkening, a sophomore from Genoa, Ill., had a career-high 36 saves. RIT outshot AFA, 37-29. AFA was 0-for-6 on the power play while RIT was 0-for-4. Menard made 27 saves for the Tigers.
"Our kids persevered and hung in there tonight," head coach Frank Serratore said. "It was a great character win. But it was an even greater character win considering the fact that we played without three of our key forwards in Josh Print, Josh Schaffer and our team captain Mike Phillipich. We got stronger as the game progressed. It was a great college hockey game and an exciting game with each team having several chances. Volkening was very good tonight. He is our backbone and it all starts with him. When your best player is your goalie you have a chance to win every night."
The same two teams conclude the series Saturday, Nov. 10, in Rochester.