Air Force sweeps RIT with 4-0 win - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Air Force sweeps RIT with 4-0 win

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Junior Billy Christopoulos made 30 saves in his first career shutout to lead Air Force to a 4-0 win over RIT in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Gene Polisseni Center in Rochester, N.Y. The Falcons have won three straight and improved to 11-10-3 overall and 6-8-2 in the league.

Senior Ben Kucera gave the Falcons an early 1-0 lead at 7:23 of the first period. Pierce Pluemer chipped the puck out of the zone to spring Evan Giesler and Kucera on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Giesler set up Kucera on the right wing side and the senior scored his second of the season. Thirty seconds later, the Tigers had an odd-man rush and Billy Christopoulos stopped Shawn Cameron to preserve the 1-0 lead.

The second period was all RIT as the Tigers outshot Air Force 17-3, but Christopoulos kept the nets clean for the Falcons.

Early in the third period, freshman Marshall Bowery scored his first of two goals on the night. At 1:50 of the third period, Bowery collected a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated down the right side, scoring with a wrister for a 2-0 lead. Later in the period, Kyle Haak forced a turnover in the neutral zone and fed Bowery on the rush. His shot from the right circle gave the Falcons a 3-0 lead at 13:51. With 3:16 left in the game, RIT pulled its goalie in favor of the extra attacker. It took just 14 seconds for the Falcons to seal the win as Matt Serratore blocked a shot, carried the puck out of the zone and scored in the empty net at 16:58.

RIT outshot Air Force, 30-21, in the game. The Falcons were 0-for-3 on the power play while the Tigers were 0-for-5. Christian Short made 17 saves for the Tigers.

“I could not be more proud of our guys,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “They came at us hard. Our penalty kill was fabulous and Billy Christopoulos was the best player on the ice all weekend. The second period got a little chaotic. We got a little sloppy and fatigued at times. Going into the third period, we wanted to simplify our game and have competitive patience and it paid off. I thought we played a really good game in the third period.”

Air Force returns home for a two-game conference series against Sacred Heart, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 19-20, at the Cadet Ice Arena.

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