Brady Tomlak scored in the third period and Billy Christopoulos made 22 saves as Air Force and AIC skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Academy’s Cadet Ice Arena. The Falcons took three points in the series and extended their unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1).
Early in the first period, Matt Koch sprung Erich Jaeger on a breakaway and the Falcon center was hooked on the play, resulting in a penalty shot. However, Jaeger’s shot was saved by AIC goalie Stefano Durante at 5:40. Less than a minute later, the Falcons got on the board. Kyle Haak won a stick battle in the corner and Zach Mirageas skated the puck behind the net. Mirageas found Erik Baskin in the left circle and the senior netted his team-leading 12th goal of the season at 6:21. AIC tied the game late in the period on the rush. Joel Kocur’s shot slid through the crease and Jared Pike scored on the back door at 15:47.
AIC (10-16-4, 9-12-4 AHC) had three power plays in the second period and took the lead on the man advantage. After Air Force killed the first two, the Yellow Jackets took a 2-1 lead. Hugo Reinhardt’s wrister from the point was assisted by
Janis Jaks and Blake Christensen at 13:51.
Early in the third period, the Falcons tied the game. Phil Boje and Trevor Stone cycled behind the net and Stone’s wrap-around attempt was saved. Tomlak’s rebound went over the blocker of the goalie, off the back of the net and quickly came out as play continued. After a video review, the goal was allowed to tie the game at 2-2 at 4:38 of the third. With two minutes left in the third, Zach Mirageas skated coast-to-coast, but his wrister went off the post. After the shot, Mirageas was called for high-sticking, but the Falcons killed the AIC power play.
In overtime, AIC had four shot attempts, with one on goal, but neither team was able to score.
Air Force outshot AIC, 27-24. Christopoulos made 22 saves while Durante made 25. AF was 0-for-3 on the power play while AIC was 1-for-6.
“I am the luckiest guy in the building tonight because we deserved to get our butts beat,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “We were very fortunate to get three points in this series. We were better in the first period, but then AIC started to take over. We took a step back tonight. Our penalty kill was good and Billy kept us in it again. Give AIC credit, they are a good team. But I am very, very, very disappointed with our composure late in the game and in overtime.”
Air Force (14-11-4, 9-9-3 AHC) travels to Bentley for a two-game series, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 9-10, in Waltham, Mass.