Bader scores two in 5-2 win over Army
U.S.A.F. ACADEMY, Colo -- Matt Bader scored two goals to lead Air Force to a 5-2 win over Army in a non-conference college hockey game Friday, Jan. 14, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
The Falcons improved to 10-9-2 overall this season. Army fell to 3-11-2. Air Force snapped a four-game losing streak. Dating back to last season, Air Force has won two straight over Army.
Air Force took the play to Army in the first period and continued its pressure the entire game. The Falcons opened the scoring with 1:09 remaining in the first period on the power play. Josh Print put back a rebound on a flurry in front of the net as Andrew Ramsey and Steve Mead assisted on the play. The Falcons took a 2-0 lead early in the second period on a four-on-four situation. Matt Bader's wrister from the faceoff dot beat Treye Kettwick high off the post on the short side. Seth Pelletier and Matt Charbonneau assisted at the 4:32 mark of the middle period. The Falcons out-shot the Black Knights, 28-10, through two periods.
Senior Ryan Wiggins had a golden opportunity for a three-goal lead with a short-handed chance early in the third period. Bader and Wiggins came down the ice on a 2-on-0 breakaway. Bader made the pass at the bottom of the circle, but Wiggins' shot was high over the crossbar. The Falcons continued to pressure and scored the next three goals of the game. Brandon Merkosky tipped in a pass from Brian Gineo for a 3-0 lead at 7:18 of the third. Two minutes later, Bader scored his second of the game. Freshman Eric Ehn made a pass through the crease to Bader, who was wide open on the far post. Bader's third goal of the season came on the power play. Ramsey's sixth goal of the season gave Air Force a 5-0 lead at the 11:38 mark. Print and Merkosky set up Ramsey who scored from the top of the crease through the five hole.
"Matt Bader finally got the monkey off his back," head coach Frank Serratore said. "He has been snake-bit. He has great skill but he just hasn't broken lose. He is unbelievable in practice and gets some opportunities in games, but just hadn't been able to score much until tonight."
Army scored two late goals to make the final score 5-2. Brad Howard scored at 12:42 when he tipped in a bouncing puck from Casey Bickley and Ryan Cruthers. The Black Knights' second goal came from David Andros who scored his fourth of the season in the slot.
Air Force out-shot Army, 46-15, in the game. The Falcons were 3-for-7 on the power play while Army was 0-for-4. Falcon netminder Peter Foster made 13 saves and came within seven minutes of a shutout. Kettwick made 41 saves for the Black Knights. Dating back to last season, Foster has shutout Army for 144 consecutive minutes. Foster shutout Army last season, 3-0, in the final game of the series in West Point.
"I couldn't be happier for our guys," Serratore said. "We needed to put the Bemidji loss (4-3 in overtime, Jan. 8) in the rearview mirror. We needed to feel good about ourselves. We had to work very hard to get the five goals. Army is very good defensively. They don't give you much easy ice and they don't let you get to many rebounds. Saturday night will not be easy. Service academy teams never quit and Army's players have great character and they have quality coaches. We just want to savor the moment tonight and think about tomorrow tomorrow."
The same two teams conclude the series Saturday, Jan. 15, at 7:05 p.m. MST at the Cadet Ice Arena.