Mar 13, 2011 12:46 AM by Jordan Mason
USAFA, Colo. - Jason Torf made 16 saves for his first career shutout as Air Force blanked Sacred Heart, 4-0, to win the Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinal series, Saturday night at a sold out Cadet Ice Arena at the Air Force Academy. With the win, Air Force advances to the AHA Final Four in Rochester, N.Y. The Falcons will face either UConn or Holy Cross on Friday, March 18, at 7:05 ET at the Blue Cross Arena. The Falcons' opponent will be determined after Sunday night's Holy Cross-Canisius quarterfinal game. Air Force extended its winning streak to a season long six games and improved to 18-11-6 overall. Sacred Heart's season ended at 6-25-6.
Air Force outshot Sacred Heart, 15-5, in the opening period and scored the only goal of the first 20 minutes. On the power play, freshman Casey Kleisinger won a faceoff and Adam McKenzie fed Brad Sellers at the point for a slap shot. Kleisinger redirected it off the post for his fifth of the season and his first career power-play marker.
The Falcons continued their shot advantage by out-shooting the Pioneers, 16-6, in the second period. Air Force also extended its lead to 2-0 on Paul Weisgarber's 13th goal of the season at the 7:11 mark. Weisgarber led a 2-on-2 short-handed rush and took a shot that was wide. After the shot, Casey Kleisinger came out of the penalty box, jumped into the play and took a shot that was saved by Steven Legatto. George Michalke joined the flurry in front and Weisgarber flipped one over the pad of Legatto for a 2-0 advantage.
Air Force sealed the win with two goals in the third period. With 5:28 remaining in the third, Jacques Lamoureux gave the Falcons a 3-0 lead with his 21st of the season. Kyle DeLaurell forced a turnover in the SHU end and fed Lamoureux in the slot. Two minutes later, John Kruse scored his 11th of the year for a 4-0 lead. Jason Fabian started the rush in his own end and fed DeLaurell on the right side. DeLaurell found Kruse who snapped a wrister high glove side.
Air Force outshot Sacred Heart every period and 45-16 in the game. AFA was 1-for-4 on the power play while SHU was 0-for-4. Legatto made 41 saves for the Pioneers.