BUFFALO, N.Y. - Chris Truehl made 34 saves and the Falcons held off a late rally in a 3-2 win over Canisius in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game, Saturday, Nov. 29, at the Harborcenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Air Force and Canisius split the two-game series.
Scott Holm's team-leading sixth goal of the season put the Falcons on the board at the 4:56 mark of the first period. Chad Demers sent a puck up ice that deflected off of a Canisius skate and ended up on the forehand of Holm in the left circle. Holm put it away for a 1-0 lead. The second line put the Falcons up 2-0 at 13:48 as freshman Matthew Meier scored his second of the season. Tyler Ledford skated the puck into the slot and drew two Griffs before making a pass back to the right circle. Meier gave the Falcons a two-goal lead as A.J. Reid also assisted on the play.
Air Force, 5-8-2 overall and 4-3-1 in the AHC, took a 3-0 lead at 3:51 of the second when Max Hartner picked up a loose puck behind the net and scored on a wrap-around. His unassisted goal was his third of the season. Late in the period, Air Force killed 56 seconds of a 5-on-3 to maintain the three-goal advantage.
Midway through the third period, Canisius, 5-6-4 overall and 4-4-3 in the league, got on the board as Cody Freeman scored on a 5-on-3 power-play goal with 12:00 minutes left in the third period. Each team had a breakaway that was turned away by the opposing goaltender later in the period. Ryan Doucet fed Cole Gunner for a breakaway that was saved by Reilly Turner. Just a minute later, Ralph Cuddemi came in on a 2-on-0 against Chris Truehl but the sophomore goaltender made the save. About four minutes later, Canisius' Cody Freeman fired a slap shot off the cross bar as the Falcons held on to the 3-1 lead. After a penalty was called on Air Force with 2:08 left, the Griffs pulled their goalie for a two-man advantage. The Griffs cut the Falcon lead to 3-2 with 1:48 left as Doug Jessey scored on a flurry in front. In a wild final minute of play, Air Force needed a couple saves from Truehl, a couple faceoff wins from Demers and a couple clears from Dan Weissenhofer to preserve the victory.
Canisius outshot Air Force, 36-19, in the game. AFA was 0-for-2 on the power play while Canisius was 2-for-9, including two 5-on-3 opportunities. Truehl made 34 saves while Turner made 16.
"I was proud of our guys for overcoming some adversity in the game," assistant coach Joe Doyle said. "For a team that is just starting to come together, this game could have gotten away from us in the third. But it didn't. Our guys hung together and battled to get this win. A credit to our guys for doing so. A win like this is one that can only continue to help this team come together."
Air Force continues its road swing with a pair of games against Bentley, Dec. 5-6, in Waltham, Mass.