Air Force falls to Mercyhurst, 3-2
Nov. 12, 2011
ERIE, Pa. - Mercyhurst built a 3-0 lead in the third period and then held off Air Force for a 3-2 win in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Pa. Air Force fell to 5-4-2 overall and 4-2-1 in the AHA. Mercyhurst improved to 5-5-0 overall and 4-1 in the AHA. Air Force is in first place in the league with nine points while Mercyhurst is second with eight points.
Mercyhurst scored two goals in a span of 35 seconds in the first period for a 2-0 lead. AFA had an 11-5 shot advantage, but with 3:56 left in the period, Tyler Shiplo skated across the high slot and fired one through traffic that found the back of the net. The Lakers scored again with 3:21 left in the period off of a faceoff. Grant Blakey won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Daniel Bahntge took a shot that was saved. Chris Bodo put back the rebound for 2-0 lead.
Neither team scored in the second period, but the Lakers took a 3-0 lead early in the third period on the power play. Nine seconds after a penalty on Falcon winger Tony Thomas, the Lakers took a 3-0 lead on the power play. Derek Elliott won a faceoff and Nick Jones scored with a shot from the right point. Air Force battled back late in the game with a couple power-play goals. Casey Kleisinger drew an interference call in the neutral zone and the Falcons capitalized. Tim Kirby scored his second of the weekend with a slap shot from the left circle. Chad Demers and Scott Mathis assisted on the goal at 8:30 which cut the MC lead to 3-1. With less than three minutes remaining, Demers drew a penalty in front of the Laker goal and the Falcons pulled the goalie for a two-man advantage. Kirby's second power-play goal of the night and third of the weekend made the score 3-2 at the 17:20 mark. Mathis and Jason Fabian earned assists on the play. AFA pulled the goalie in the final 70 seconds, but were unable to tie the game.
AFA outshot Mercyhurst in every period and 34-23 in the game. AFA was 2-for-5 on the power play while Mercyhurst was 1-for-3. Stephen Caple made 20 saves for the Falcons. Max Strang made 32 for the Lakers.
"Maybe we needed to eat a slice of humble pie," head coach Frank Serratore said. "Sometimes maybe we believe our own hype. We were picked to finish second and were receiving votes in the national polls. I want to credit our four seniors. They worked relentlessly and their leadership was big for us. We can't live off of last year's success. It's all part of journey. Now we'll see where this team goes. But we aren't there yet."
Air Force is idle until the Falcons host UConn, Friday-Saturday, Nov. 25-26, at the Cadet Ice Arena.