Jan 8, 2010 11:22 PM
USAFA, Colo . -Tim Kirby scored the game-winner with 2:46 remaining in the third period as Air Force beat UConn, 2-1, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Friday night at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force remains in a tie for first place with Mercyhurst. The Falcons improved to 9-8-4 overall and 9-4-4 in the league. UConn fell to 2-15-2 overall and 2-10-2 in the AHA.
Air Force scored first when Blake Page forced a turnover behind the UConn net and Eric Artman collected the loose puck. His shot from the left circle deflected off of a UConn player and into the net for a 1-0 lead at the 11:23 mark. The Huskies tied the game with 1:17 left in the period. With Air Force on the power play, Andrew Olson created a turnover and fed Michael Coppola who skated through the neutral zone. His shot was saved by Andrew Volkening, but Brad Cooper scored the short-handed goal to tie the game.
Neither team scored in the second period. Through the first two periods, each team had one goal, 15 shots and was 0-for-3 on the power play.
With six minutes left in the third period, Air Force had a flurry in front of the UConn net with six shot attempts and two on goal. After UConn sent the puck to the neutral zone, Kirby forced a turnover and fed Jacques Lamoureux skating down the right wing side. Lamoureux pulled up in the right circle and found Kirby coming down the slot. Kirby netted his second goal of the season and his second game winner.
Air Force outshot UConn, 26-25, in the game. Air Force was 0-for-4 on the power play while UConn was 0-for-3. Volkening made 24 saves. UConn freshman Garrett Bartus made 24 as well.
"Our compete level was better tonight and we found a way to win," head coach Frank Serratore. "We can't go anywhere as a team until we have a high compete level and it was better tonight. I'd like to think that we took a step in the right direction, but we'll see tomorrow. It was nice to get a win, but we still need to take another step."
The same two teams conclude the series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at the Cadet Ice Arena.