RIT defeats Air Force, 3-2, in overtime
Dec. 6, 2008
USAFA, Colo. -RIT forward Andrew Favot scored with 38 seconds left in overtime to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 win over No. 10 Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force suffered its first home loss and first conference loss of the season. The Falcons fell to 14-2 overall this season and 11-1 in the AHA. The win for RIT marked the highest ranked team the Tigers have ever defeated. RIT improved to 6-9-1 overall and 5-5-1 in the league. Air Force is still in first place in the AHA with 22 points, 11 points ahead of Bentley, Mercyhurst, Holy Cross, Canisius and RIT.
For just the third time all season, Air Force fell behind in the game as RIT scored on the power play at the 3:58 mark. Scott Mathis had a short-handed breakaway chance that was turned away by the RIT goalie Jared DeMichiel. Justin Hofstetter took the puck and went coast-to-coast, scoring with a wrister from the bottom of the right circle.
Air Force tied the game with 42 seconds left in the second period on the power play. Brent Olson won a faceoff in the offensive zone and got the puck back to Mathis. Mathis fired a shot from the right point and Lamoureux redirected it in front for his 12th of the season and his nation's best eighth power-play goal. The Falcons stormed out of the locker room in the third period and took a 2-1 lead when Jeff Hajner scored 22 seconds into the period. Kevin Wright took a shot from the high slot and Hajner tipped it in for his sixth of the year. Matt Fairchild also assisted on the goal.
Air Force had five power plays in the third period and had a full two-minute 5-on-3 but did not convert. On the 5-on-3, Air Force kept the puck in the zone for the entire two minutes and had four shots on goal but all were saved by DeMichiel. The Falcons had a power play with just under five minutes left after a penalty on Alan Mazur. However, the Falcons failed to score and 30 seconds after the penalty expired, RIT tied the game. Brennan Sarazin put back a rebound on a shot by Dan Ringwald to tie the game at 2-2 with 2:00 remaining.
In the overtime period, each team had a couple quality scoring chances. Josh Frider had a chance from the bottom of the right circle that was saved by DeMichiel with 3:40 left. On the ensuing rush, Andrew Volkening made two saves from point blank range to keep the game time. With 1:09 left, Mike Phillipich was stoned by DeMichiel right in front of the net. As time was ticking down, the Tigers had an odd-man rush and Andrew Favot's shot from the bottom of the right circle went in for a 3-2 RIT win with 38 seconds left.
The Falcons outshot the Tigers, 41-32, in the game. Each team was 1-for-8 on the power play. DeMichiel made 39 saves in the game and had 61 saves in the series. Volkening made 29 saves for Air Force and had 59 in the series.
"This was a gut-wrenching loss," head coach Frank Serratore said. "The story of the game was our inability to score on the power play and our 5-on-3's in the game. When you let a team hang around like we did, it is going to come back to haunt you. We played a lot better than we did last night, but our inability to convert on the power play cost us. The only thing you learn from losing is losing."
Air Force is now idle until Dec. 29-30 at the Toyota UConn Classic in Storrs, Conn. The Falcons play a conference game against UConn on Dec. 29 and then will face either Quinnipiac or Merrimack in the consolation or championship game of the tournament on Dec. 30. Air Force's next home series is Jan. 16-17 against Canisius.