Nov 17, 2013 12:44 AM by Greg Smith
U.S AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force built a 4-1 lead and then held off Robert Morris for a 4-3 win in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Cadet Ice Arena. Air Force improved to 6-3-0 overall and 4-1-0 in the AHA. The Falcons extended their home winning streak to five straight games. Robert Morris fell to 1-7-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the league.
Midway through the first period, the Falcons struck first on the rush. Adam McKenzie sent the puck up ice to Cole Gunner on the right wing. Gunner found Chad Demers in the slot for a 1-0 lead at the 7:24 mark.
The two teams combined for four goals in a span of 3:32 in the middle of the second period. Mike McDonald gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead at the 7:00 mark. Mitch Torrel won a faceoff in the offensive zone and McDonald fired a blast from the point that beat Brandon Lane high glove side. Two minutes later, the Falcons had 1:55 of a 5-on-3and capitalized. Alex Halloran carried the puck into the zone and dropped the puck for Gunner. Gunner looked across ice and found Demers in the right circle and the junior center buried his second of the game and fourth of the season for a 3-0 lead at the 9:01 mark. Just over 30 seconds later, RMU answered with a short-handed goal. Colin South chipped the puck out of the zone and Zac Lynch picked it up and scored on a breakaway at the 9:38 mark. On the remaining 5-on-4 power play, the Falcons scored with one second left on the man advantage. Ben Carey took a shot from the right side that was saved and George Michalke III put back the rebound for a 4-1 lead at 10:32.
Air Force held the 4-1 lead until late in the third period when the Colonials made it interesting. With less than five minutes remaining, the Falcons took two penalties and gave the Colonials 61 seconds of a 5-on-3. Just as Air Force got one of the players back on the ice, the Colonials scored to make it 4-2. Zac Lynch won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Tyson Wilson passed across to Chase Golightly at the left point. His shot found the back of the net at 16:41. After the penalties expired, the Colonials pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker. The Falcons had a chance to clear the puck from behind their own net. However, the pass went right to Ben Robillard in the slot who scored his second of the year at 19:00. His goal cut the Falcon lead to 4-3. The Colonials pulled the goalie again in the final 50 seconds, but were unable to find the equalizer.
Robert Morris outshot Air Force, 40-31, in the game including an 18-8 advantage in the third period. AFA was 2-for-2 on the power play while RMU was 1-for-3. Jason Torf made 37 saves for the Falcons. Brandon Lane made 27 for the Colonials. "Our activity level was good," head coach Frank Serratore said. "But we gave them way too many chances. We won simply because the best player on the ice was in our net (Jason Torf). We made some bonehead plays in the final couple minutes. In the second period and early in the third, I had no complaints with our game. We will have to play a lot better against CC and Denver."
Air Force travels south on I-25 to face Colorado College on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7:07 at the Colorado Springs World Arena.