Jan 7, 2012 11:57 PM by Jordan Mason
WORCESTER, Mass. - Holy Cross scored two power-play goals and beat Air Force, 4-3, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross, 9-9-1 overall and 7-4-1 in the AHA, struck first on an odd-man rush as Erik Vos scored at 4:47 from Matt Gordon and Mike McNamara. In the first eight minutes of the game, Holy Cross had a 6-1 shot advantage and a 7-0 faceoff advantage. The first faceoff the Falcons won led to AFA's first goal. Kyle De Laurell won the draw and Scott Mathis slid the puck over to Tim Kirby at the center point. His slap shot beat Matt Ginn at the 7:55 mark to tie the game at 1-1. The goal was Kirby's second of the series and seventh of the season. Late in the first period, the Crusaders had 1:20 of a 5-on-3 and took a 2-1 lead. Matt Clune's slap shot from the right point came at the 16:19 mark.
Air Force, 10-6-3 overall and 8-3-2 in the league, was much improved in the second period and scored the only goal in the second. Tony Thomas forced a turnover in the Holy Cross end and pushed the puck to Cole Gunner. Gunner sent one toward the net and George Michalke III tipped it in to tie the game at 2-2 at 13:03. The goal was Michalke's third of the season.
Early in the third period, De Laurell and Stephen Carew drew penalties and the Falcons had 1:39 of a 5-on-3 advantage. However, the Falcons had just four shots and did not convert. Right after the penalties expired, the Crusaders went on the power play and took a 3-2 lead. Kyle Atkins made a pass from the left point and Andrew Cox scored on the backdoor at the 8:57 mark. The Falcons had a power play late in the third and then pulled the goaltender for a 6-on-4 advantage late in the man-advantage. However, just as the penalty expired, Jay Silvia came off the bench, intercepted a pass and skated into the zone. The senior flipped the puck into the empty net for a 4-2 lead with 1:38 remaining. With 21.6 seconds remaining, the Falcons scored with the extra attacker on the ice. Paul Weisgarber sent a puck into the slot and started a flurry in front of the net. De Laurell punched in the loose puck to make the final score 4-3.
"We got what we deserved tonight and this weekend," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We got beat by a harder-working, more-focused and more determined team tonight. We weren't very good for whatever reason. We were bad in the first period and then we bounced back in the second and third. We played 40 minutes and they played 60. We have a long way to go."
Holy Cross outshot Air Force, 27-21, in the game. The Crusaders were 2-for-5 on the power play while AFA was 0-for-5. Caple made 23 saves for AFA while Ginn made 18 for HC.
Air Force returns home for a two-game AHA series against Bentley, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 13-14 at 7:05 p.m. MT each night at the Cadet Ice Arena.