Sloppy Second Period Dooms Pioneers In 6-3 Loss At Air Force

Feb. 26, 2010

Box Score

Colorado Springs, CO - The Air Force Falcons scored five goals in the second period as they defeated the Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team 6-3 Friday night at the Cadet Ice Arena.  Eric Delong (Oakville, MB) netted a goal and added two assists while Alex Stuart (Sauk Rapids, MN) scored his first collegiate goal.  John Kruse notched two goals for the Falcons, who went a perfect three-for-three on the power play.

Sacred Heart (18-11-4, 16-8-3 AHA) had the majority of the opportunities in the first period, outshooting the Falcons 12-9.  Corey Laurysen (Ottawa, ON) ripped a one timer early in the period and Nick Johnson (Windsor, CT) nearly banged home the rebound but Air Force goaltender Andrew Volkening turned away both efforts.  The Falcons had a flurry of chances midway through the frame but Kruse and Blake Page both just missed the cage.  The Pioneers would finally take the lead with 5:46 on the clock as Delong forced a turnover at neutral ice and Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) finished the two-on-one rush to notch his ninth marker of the season.

Air Force (13-14-6, 13-8-6 AHA) came out strong to start the second period, scoring four unanswered goals in the first 8:16.  Scott Kozlak started the run on a three-on-two break for the Falcons, Jacques Lamoureux earned the assist on the play.  Air Force would then put together back-to-back power play goals in 1:05 off the sticks of Matt Fairchild and Tim Kirby.  Air Force would extend its lead to 4-1 with Kruse's first goal of the ngiht, assisted by Kirby and Paul Weisgarber, forcing C.J. Marottolo to pull starting goaltender Steven Legatto (Kelowna, BC). 

Delong would bring the game back to 4-2 with a power play goal off a deflection in front.  Stuart ripped a slap shot from the point that Delong directed through the five hole of Volkening for his 13th of the year.  Kruse would make it a three goal game with just nine seconds remaining in the period as he found the net from a tough angle.  SHU goaltender Olivier St. Onge (Wickham, QC) was hard pressed to make the save as he was forced to work in a crowded crease.

The Falcons got a short handed goal, which proved to be the dagger, from Weisgarber just 2:09 into the final period.  The Air Force forward created a turnover at neutral ice and put his wrist shot into the roof of the net for his sxith goal of 2009-10.  Stuart would notch his first career goal with 11:54 remaining in regulation to bring the score to its 6-3 final, Delong and Johnson had the assists.

The Pioneers wrap up the regular season in tomorrow's series finale against Air Force.  Game time is set for 9:05 pm ET.