Jan. 11, 2013
USAFA, Colo. - Kyle De Laurell scored three times to help Air Force top Army, 4-1, Friday night in an Atlantic Hockey Association contest at a sold-out Cadet Ice Arena.
Army racked up 13 shots in the opening period but fell to 7-10-2 overall and 7-5-2 in league games.
Air Force, with six seniors in its lineup, improved to 7-9-4 overall and 5-5-2 in front of a partisan crowd of 2,497.
Shane Hearn, one of 10 Army freshmen in the lineup, scored for Army with an assist to Mac Lalor.
Army goalie Ryan Leets made a bevy of stellar stops and was credited with 32 saves in his first action since Dec. 29.
Air Force goalie Jason Torf turned away 26 shots to earn his seventh win of the season.
Army controlled the action early as Mac Lalor, Andy Starczewski, Hearn, R.J. Burns, Josh Richards and Joe Kozlak had shots on goal.
It was Air Force though who go on the scoreboard first when Ben Persian knocked home a rebound from a crowd in front of the Army net midway through the first period.
Starczewski nearly the game a minute later but his wrist shot hit the post.
Leets kept it a one-goal deficit, making a sprawling save of an Air Force 2-on-1 opportunity.
Army had the first power play of the game when Air Force was whistled for interference with just under eight minutes left in the first period but did not score.
Army held a 13-9 advantage in shots on goal after 20 minutes but trailed, 1-0.
The Black Knights started the second period on the power play when Air Force was called for roughing at the end of the first period in a scrum in front of the net, though it continued to be a 1-0 contest.
Army hit the post for the second in the game when Thane Heller came close to tying the game.
Air Force extended its lead to 2-0 with a 5-on-3 score after Army was called for roughing and high sticking. Kyle De Laurell re-directed a shot that trickled past Leets with 5:21 left in second period.
The Falcons made it a 3-0 contest with 90 seconds remaining in the second period when De Laurell scored his second of the game.
Army killed off the remainder of an Air Force power play to start the final period and then had a pair of good scoring chances when Josh Richards and Starczewski registered shots on goal.
The Black Knights had their fourth power play of the game after a hooking infraction and despite a solid chance by Heller, Air Force held its 3-0 advantage.
Army killed off an Air Force power play but De Laurell collected the hat trick with 4:29 left, netting his second power play score of the game.
Hearn ended the shutout with his third goal of the season. Lalor forced a turnover in the Army end and chipped it past two Air Force defenders. Hearn picked the puck up near the blue line and beat Torf. It was the eight assist of the season for Lalor.
Army will conclude its series with Air Force, Saturday with a national television broadcast. CBS Sports Network will carry the game live at 6:05 p.m. Eastern from a sold-out Cadet Ice Arena.
The Black Knights will return to Tate Rink Jan. 18-19 for a two-game series against RIT. For tickets, visit www.goARMYsports.com, call 1-877-TIX-ARMY or stop by the ticket office at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium.
GAME NOTES: Army wore its black sweaters ... Air Force donned its alternate jerseys which are similar to the New York Rangers, cream with red, white and blue ... Army's starting lineup consisted of Brian Schultz, Joe Kozlak, R.J. Burns, Jonathan Gehrt and Mac Lalor with Ryan Leets in goal ... It marked the 48th start of Leets' career ... Major Stan Johnson served as the Officer Representative ... Freshman Andrew O'Leary returned to the lineup after missing three games. He was the left wing on an all-freshmen line with James McNulty and Josh Roberts ... A host of former players were at the game. Among them were Drew Pierson, Chris Spracklen, Ken Rowe, Pat Copeland, Seth Beamer, Billy Day, Chase Podsiad and Danny Colvin.
AIR FORCE 4, ARMY 1
AIR FORCE 1-2-1--4
AF - Persian (Holm, Carey), 9:29
AF - De Laurell (Thomas, Carew), PP, 14:39
AF - De Laurell (Walsh, Carew), 18:33
AF - De Laurell (Thomas, Kruse), PP, 15:31
ARMY - Hearn (Lalor), 16:03
Shots: Army 27 (13-3-11); Air Force 36 (9-13-14)
Saves: Army 32 (Leets, 60:00, 8-11-13); Air Force 26 (Torf, 60:00, 13-3-10)
Power Plays: Army, 0-4; Air Force, 2-6
Penalties: Army, 6-12; Air Force, 4-8