Air Force Strikes First in Third Period to Defeat Pioneers, 3-1

Air Force Strikes First in Third Period to Defeat Pioneers, 3-1

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.-- The Sacred Heart men's ice hockey team fell to Air Force 3-1 on Friday afternoon at Webster Bank Arena. The Falcons (10-6-3, 7-3-1 AHC) answered first with two consecutive goals in the third period to hold the Pioneers (6-11-2, 4-9 AHC) in the series opener.

Both teams were slow to get going in the first game back from winter break, taking a 0-0 tie into the third period. Air Force finally broke open the game at 10:27 in the third with a laser by Tyler Ledford from Phil Boje for the power play score. The Falcons took the 2-0 lead as Ledford found A.J. Reid charging in the slot for the wide-open goal at 15:09 in the third. Junior Kory Kennedy got the Pioneers on the board with his shorthanded goal at 18:11 as he snuck by Air Force goaltender Shane Starrett on the wrap around score. Sacred Heart continued to push the attack, but Evan Feno added the empty net goal with seven seconds remaining in regulation to ice the Pioneers comeback attempt and bring the final score to 3-1.

For the game, the Falcons outshot the Pioneers 26-22. Air Force went 1-for-7 on the power play. Sacred Heart to 0-for-2 on the advantage. Starrett recorded 21 saves in goal for the Falcons. Nathan Perry picked up 23 saves for the Pioneers.

The Pioneers close out the calendar year tomorrow at 3:00 pm with the series finale against the Falcons at Webster Bank Arena.

First Period

- Justin Danforth fired the Pioneers first shot on goal, a backhanded shot denied by Starrett at 11:25 in the period.

-  Pioneers go 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. 

- The Falcons outshot SHU 7-2 in the period. 

Second Period

- Perry picked up back to back saves on shots by Tyler Ledford and Erik Baskin at 4:14 in the second period.

-  Danforth tried to pinpoint one to the top shelf but was denied by Starrett on the SHU power play at 8:35.

- Air Force's six ranked penalty kill yielded Sacred Heart 0-for-2 on the power play in the second period.

Third Period

- Freshmen Vito Bavaro and Austin McIlmurray fired back-to-back shots in front of the net but were denied by Starrett at 4:30 in period.

- Falcons picked up the first goal of the game on the power play tally by Ledford at 10:27 in the third.

- Starrett made a phenomenal kick save on a snipe by Danforth at 13:11. 

- Abood finds Reid charging into the slot for the 2-0 lead at 15:09, six seconds after SHU killed a power play.

- Kennedy picked up SHU's fourth shorthanded goal of the season at 18:11 in the period. His first tally since October 23, 2016 at AIC. 

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