U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Eight Falcons netted 11 goals to down Southern Conference front-runner, Furman (3-8, 3-2 SoCon), 11-3, Saturday afternoon at Falcon Stadium. The Falcons improve to 5-8 with a 3-2 mark in league play after holding the Paladins to their lowest scoring game of the season.
Furman was first to light the scoreboard with a goal at the 9:17 mark. The Falcons responded with three-straight goals to close the period. Trey Lervick was the first to strike for Air Force via Nick Hruby’s assist at 5:18. Just under two-minutes later, in a man-up opportunity, freshman Christian Kuhn notched his second assist of the season as he fed Hruby for his first goal of the game. With 24-seconds remaining in the first period, Chet Dunstan slung the ball past the Paladin keeper to extend the Falcons to a two-goal lead.
The Paladins were the first to strike in the second period as Gus Pinsoneault drilled one in at the 13:29 mark. The Falcons responded mercilessly, notching eight-straight unanswered goals in the ensuing periods. Jack Flynn and Andrew Tien netted a goal apiece in the second period. Junior attacker Cameron Carter was credited with the assist in Tien’s ninth goal of the season.
Air Force continued its roll into the third period, adding two goals while holding Furman scoreless. Dunstan netted his second goal of the game, seventh of the season, via Hruby’s feed at 9:07. At the 8:09 mark, sophomore Jake Thornally bullied his way into Furman’s safe space, launching an over-the-head rocket right past the keeper’s stick. The Falcons closed the third period with the lead at 7-2.
The Falcons kept the pedal to the floor, adding four more goals in the fourth period. Flynn recorded his second goal to the score sheet in an unassisted attack at 13:36. Matthew Schwartz, who is second on the team with 14 goals, sent a laser beam into Furman’s cage, extending the Falcons’ lead, 9-2. Senior middie Nick Forrest decided to get in on the scoring clinic at the 6:19 mark, attacking the Paladins’ cage for an unassisted goal. Schwartz connected with Lervick at the 4:19 marking, upping Lervick’s goal count to 12 on the season while increasing the Falcons’ lead to 11-2. Schwartz and Lervick, both from Minnesota, lead the team with seven assists apiece. Furman’s Chad Kreuzer refused to go quietly, notching the Paladins’ third goal with 1:05 remaining in regulation.
At the final whistle, Air Force held the advantage in shots (33-16) and ground balls (23-12). Hruby led the team with three points while Schwartz led the squad with seven shots, five coming on frame. Trent Harper dominated the face off X, winning a season-high 13-15 (.867) face offs and picking up a team-high eight ground balls. Freshman goalkeeper Braden Host recorded eight saves, improving to a .466 save percentage on the season.
Air Force continues conference action at Falcon Stadium, Sat., Apr. 21, against the High Point Panthers, at noon (MT). The game marks the fifth meetings between the teams, Air Force leads the series, 3-1.