Oct 21, 2011 11:04 PM by Jordan Mason
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Cole Gunner tipped in a Tim Kirby shot with 3:31 remaining in the third period as Air Force and Alabama-Huntsville skated to a 1-1 overtime tie in a non-conference college hockey game Friday at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Neither team scored in the first period as Air Force had 13 shots and UAH had 11. UAH took a 1-0 lead at 8:07 of the second period. The Chargers scored their first power-play goal of the season when Kyle Lysaght scored on a rebound from Tom Durnie. AFA out-shot UAH, 24-11, in the second period, but the Falcons were unable to get on the scoreboard.
With 3:31 left in the third period, Kirby fired a shot from the left point and Gunner tipped it in from right in front. Fellow freshman Chad Demers also assisted on Air Force's first power-play goal of the season. The goal came on Air Force's 50th shot on goal.
In overtime, AFA had three shots on goal and nearly won the game had it not been for a diving save by goaltender Clarke Saunders with just over three minutes remaining. John Kruse and Jason Fabian battled on the side of the net and Kruse sent one toward the open net, but Saunders dove across and stopped the puck before it crossed the line.
"Anytime you have to battle back the way we did and find a way to score late, you feel good about it," head coach Frank Serratore said. "Our power play was a lot better. Even though we didn't get one until late, we had some chances. Their goalie was red hot. He was terrific. We need to tidy a few things as we gave them some chances. We didn't take care of the puck very well. We got sloppy at times. Overall, I love the spirit and effort of our guys. This was a game we should have won, but it was also a game we could have lost. Steve Caple was very good tonight. A couple times we turned pucks over and came up big for us. He looked sharp from start to finish."
Air Force had a season high 56 shots on goal while UAH had 29. Saunders made 55 saves for the Chargers while Caple made 28 for the Falcons. AFA was 1-for-6 on the power play while UAH was 1-for-3.
Air Force (2-2-1 overall) and Alabama-Huntsville (0-6-1 overall) conclude the two-game non-conference series on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7:05 p.m. CT in Huntsville, Ala.