Dec. 2, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Kyle De Laurell and John Kruse each scored two goals as Air Force beat AIC, 8-3, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday, Dec. 2, at the Olympia Ice Center in Springfield, Mass. Air Force improved to 8-4-2 overall and in first place with a 7-2-1 AHA record. AIC fell to 3-11-2 overall and 2-6-2 in the league.
Air Force scored four goals in the first period for a 4-0 lead. The teams traded scoring chances in the first seven minutes as the shots were deadlocked at six each. Air Force opened the scoring at the 8:41 mark when Kyle De Laurell scored his ninth of the year from Scott Mathis. The junior extended his scoring streak to five games with a wrister from the left circle. AFA then scored three goals in a span of three minutes later in the first period. Sophomore George Michalke III gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead at the 16:26 mark. After the Falcons won a faceoff in the offensive zone, Michalke put back a rebound right in front for his second of the season. Linemates Casey Kleisinger and Tony Thomas assisted on the goal. Freshman Scott Holm scored his first career goal with 51 seconds left in the period. Mitch Torrel won a stick battle in the corner in his own end and started the rush. Holm's shot went off of goaltender Ryan Kerpan as Adam McKenzie and Jason Fabian assisted on the play. AFA took a 4-0 lead with 31 seconds left. After the Falcons won a faceoff in the offensive zone, Paul Weisgarber centered to Cole Gunner in front and the freshman netted his fourth of the season.
The Falcons scored two goals in the first three minutes of the second period. Off of the opening faceoff, De Laurell scored his second of the game nine seconds into the period. Chad Demers and Scott Mathis assisted as the Falcons took a 5-0 lead. Three minutes later, AFA took a 6-0 lead on Paul Weisgarber's first of the season. Adam McKenzie took a shot from the point and Weisgarber tipped it in at 3:34. AIC got on the board at 4:31 when Nielsson Arcibal skated down the right side and fired a wrister from the bottom of the circle. The Falcons answered at the 9:25 mark as John Kruse took a great pass from behind the net by De Laurell for a 7-1 lead. Mike Walsh also assisted on the play. The Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to 7-2 with 1:45 left in the second period. On a delayed penalty, Adam Pleskach stuffed one in after a scramble in front.
Kruse scored his second of the game at the 14:45 mark of the third period on a flurry in front of the Yellow Jacket net. De Laurell and Demers assisted on the goal. With five minutes left in the game, Jon Puskar scored from Chris Markiewicz and Michael Penny to make up the final margin. Air Force outshot AIC, 37-28, in the game. The Falcons were 0-for-4 on the power play while AIC was 0-for-1. Stephen Caple earned his eighth win of the season as he stopped 19 of 21 shots he faced. Freshman Paul Moberg saw action in just his second career game, playing the final 14 minutes and making six saves while allowing a goal.
"It was very important for us to get a lead in the game so that we could play our style," head coach Frank Serratore said. "It appears to be coming together for us and everyone is embracing, and feeling comfortable with, their roles. We need to play the same way whether the game is tied, we are up by five or down by five. We just kept coming at them all night and we answered their first two goals with a goal of our own. We need to keep our guard up tomorrow night."
The Falcons and Yellow Jackets conclude the two-game series Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7:05 p.m. ET at the Olympia Ice Center in Springfield, Mass.