Jan 31, 2012 3:07 AM by Lee Douglas
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Air Force and Canisius skated to a 1-1 overtime in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Monday, Jan. 30, at the Buffalo State Sports Arena in Buffalo, N.Y. With the tie, Air Force moved into a tie for third place in the league with a 12-7-6 overall record and a 10-4-5 mark in the AHA.
Canisius, 8-14-4 overall and 8-3-3 in the league, scored its first goal of the series at the 10:41 mark of the first period. After winning a faceoff in the offensive zone, defenseman Ben Danford skated the puck around the net and centered it to a crowd in front. Braeden Rigney scored on the rebound for a 1-0 Griffin lead.
Midway through the second period, Air Force had 41 seconds of a 5-on-3 but was unable to capitalize. However, with 4:07 left in the second period, the Falcons won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Tim Kirby fired a wrister from the center point for his ninth of the season. John Kruse won the faceoff and Chad Demers fed Kirby from the half boards to tie the game at 1-1.
The score remained 1-1 late in the third period, when Falcon goalie Jason Torf made three saves in a span of 30 seconds. He stopped a breakaway by Canisius' leading scorer, Kyle Gibbons, and then made two saves on a flurry right in front off of the ensuing faceoff. Early in overtime, Air Force had two shots in the first 20 seconds by Scott Mathis and Chad Demers, but Dan Morrison was there to make the saves. Canisius had a 2-on-1 breakaway in the final five seconds. A shot from the left side by Scott Moser was kicked away by Torf at the buzzer.
"Last night was as close to being a perfect game as possible," head coach Frank Serratore said. "Our energy was good tonight, but things got a little too chaotic at critical times. We took too many risks late in the game. The opportunities that they got tonight, we gave them. We got a little sloppy and a little careless at times. Our puck management needs to get better. Bottom line is our power play didn't get it done. I don't think we need to play any harder, but we could play a little smarter."
Air Force outshot Canisius, 33-15, in the game. AFA was 0-for-7 on the power play while Canisius was 0-for-2. Morrison made 32 saves for the Griffins while Torf made 14 for the Falcons.
Air Force returns home for a two-game series against first-place RIT, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 3-4, at the Academy's Cadet Field House.