Nov 26, 2011 12:01 AM by Jordan Mason
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Stephen Caple stopped 17 of 18 shots as Air Force defeated the University of Connecticut, 3-1, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday night at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force, 6-4-2, 5-2-1 AHA, opened the scoring at the 10:19 mark of the first period. Chad Demers centered the puck from the far corner and Kyle De Laurell scored his seventh of the season. John Kruse assisted on the play. UConn, 4-6-2, 3-3-1 AHA, outshot Air Force, 4-2, in the first five minutes, but the Falcons outshot the Huskies, 15-1, in the final 15 minutes for a 16-5 shot advantage after one period.
The Falcons built a 2-0 lead early in the second period on the power play. Five seconds after De Laurell drew a checking from behind penalty, the Falcons capitalized. Kruse won a faceoff and De Laurell tipped the puck to Kirby who snapped a wrister past Garrett Bartus at 1:02 of the second period. The Huskies got on the board with a power-play goal at 3:32. Alex Gerke made a cross-ice pass to Cole Schneider in the right circle. Schneider fed down low to Sean Ambrosie who stuffed it under Stephen Caple's pad to make the score 2-1. Falcon freshman Cole Gunner gave the Falcons a 3-1 lead at 11:32. Paul Weisgarber collected a loose puck in the neutral zone and made a no-look pass to Gunner. Gunner skated in uncontested on Bartus and made a move that forced Bartus to hit the ice. The freshman went around the UConn goalie and scored his third of the season.
Each team had six shots on goal in the third period, but neither team scored.
AFA out-shot UConn, 40-18. The Falcons were 1-for-5 on the power play while UConn was 1-for-4. Bartus made 37 saves for UConn while Caple made 17 for the Falcons.
The Falcons and Huskies conclude the two-game league series on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 7:05 p.m. at the Cadet Ice Arena.