Wayne State holds off Falcons, 4-3
Wayne State goalie Matt Kelly made 30 saves, including 13 in the third period, as the Warriors held off Air Force, 4-3, in a College Hockey America game Friday night at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Wayne State earned its first win of the season and improved to 1-8-2 overall and 1-3-1 in the CHA. Air Force fell to 2-9-0 overall and 1-2 in the CHA.
The Warriors opened the scoring at the 15:45 mark of the first period as Mike Forgie scored on a rebound of his own shot to give WSU a 1-0 lead. Just under three minutes later, Stavros Paskaris scored from Forgie for a 2-0 advantage. Paskaris took a pass from the boards and scored from the slot at the 18:21 mark.
Air Force got on the board with 1:08 left in the period as Eric Ehn made a move to split defenders and a rush up the right wing. His wrister beat Kelly to make the score, 2-1. WSU out-shot AFA, 21-9, in the period. Andrew Ramsey and Matt Charbonneau assisted.
The Falcons tied the game early in the second period as Brian Reese scored on the power play. Michael Mayra took a shot from the point and Reese redirected it from the top of the crease at the 1:39 mark of the second.
WSU went ahead again as Jon Grabarek scored a power-play goal at the 4:51 mark from Matt Krug and John May. Grabarek took a shot from the side boards that hit off of goaltender Peter Foster's stick and went in the net.
Midway through the second period, Wayne State's Nate Higgins was whistled for a checking from behind penalty and was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. On the same play, Steve Kovalchik was called for holding and the Falcons had a 5-on-3 advantage along with a five-minute power play. The two-man advantage lasted only 27 seconds as Theo Zacour was called for holding in the offensive zone.
Later on the power play, the Falcons came back to tie the game at the 9:40 mark of the second period as Ehn netted his second of the game and his seventh of the season. Brian Gineo took a shot from the point that was saved and a flurry ensued in front of Kelly. With Andrew Ramsey and Ehn punching at the puck, Ehn pushed it across from just inside the left post to tie the score at 3-3.
With six minutes left in the second, Dan Illiakis scored the game-winner on the power play from Grabarek. After Foster had stopped a flurry of shots on the power play, Grabarek found Illiakis on the far side near the bottom of the left circle. His shot rattled between the pads of Foster before crawling over the goaline. John May also assisted on the play.
Air Force controlled the third period and out-shot Wayne State, 13-5. However, Kelly kept the net clean and the Warriors claimed a one-goal victory. The Falcons pulled Foster from the net with 1:20 remaining, but were unable to score.
Wayne State out-shot Air Force, 39-33, in the game. Each team scored two power-play goals. AFA was 2-for-8 while Wayne State was 2-for-7. Kelly made 30 saves for the Warriors while Foster made 35 for the Falcons.
The same two teams conclude the two-game CHA series on Saturday, Dec.3, at 7:05 p.m. at the Cadet Ice Arena. The game will be broadcast on The Sports Animal AM 1300 and also on the internet at www.AirForceSports.com.
The game will also feature the Falcon "Toy Trick". Bring a new, stuffed toy, wrapped in plastic and, when the Falcons score their first goal, throw the toys on the ice. The toys will be distributed to children in local hospitals and clinics during the holiday season.