Posted: Jan 17, 2010 6:42 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2010 6:42 AM
WATERTOWN, Mass . - Andrew Volkening made 24 saves to earn his third shutout of the season as Air Force blanked Bentley, 3-0, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday night at the John A. Ryan Center in Watertown, Mass.
Air Force moved into sole possession of first place in the league as the Falcons improved to 11-8-5 overall and 11-4-5 in the AHA. Bentley fell to 9-10-3 overall and 7-7-2 in the league.
Air Force drew first blood at the 11:41 mark when freshman Kyle De Laurell scored his second of the weekend and his fifth of the season. Scott Kozlak made a pass from behind the net and De Laurell scored from the slot. Jeff Hajner also assisted on the play. Four minutes later, the Falcons' fourth line started a 3-on-2 rush up ice. Stephen Carew pulled up in the left circle and fed Paul Weisgarber coming down the slot for his fifth of the year. Matt Becker also assisted on the play.
Despite killing four penalties in the second period, Air Force extended its lead to 3-0 midway through the period. The fourth line scored its second goal of the night on the rush. Carew took the puck on the right wing and zipped a shot that clanked off the post and went in for his fifth of the year at the 10:46 mark. Neither team scored in the third period as Air Force had an 11-5 shot advantage.
Air Force outshot Bentley, 34-24, in the game. Volkening made 25 saves in the game for the 14th shutout of his career. Bentley's Kyle Rank made 30 saves. AFA was 0-for-5 on the power play. The Falcons, the No. 1 penalty kill unit in the nation, killed all six Bentley power plays, including four in the second period.
"This is as good a game as our team has played since I've been here," Frank Serratore said. "We only gave up a few quality chances tonight. I was really impressed with our three-period performance. Our penalty kill was awesome. We took care of the puck better tonight. I couldn't be happier. These kids played a whale of a game and not many teams will come in here and sweep these guys."
Air Force returns to action on Friday-Saturday, Jan. 22-23, as the Falcons host Holy Cross at the Cadet Ice Arena.