Hockey: No. 11 Air Force falls to Quinnipiac, 4-2

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Quinnipiac built a 3-0 lead in the second period and held on for a 4-2 win over No. 11 Air Force in the championship game of the Toyota/UConn Classic Dec. 30, at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Conn.

Air Force fell to 14-3-1 overall this season and 11-1-1 in Atlantic Hockey. Quinnipiac is 9-6-1overall and 4-3-1 in the ECAC.

After a fast-paced first period, Quinnipiac drew first blood with 6.6 seconds left in the period. Each team had eight shots on goal in the period, but it was the Bobcats' eighth that got past Andrew Volkening. With 15 seconds left, the Bobcats started a rush from behind their own net and came up ice. A cross-ice pass from Bryan Leitch on the right side was right on the tape of Eric Lampe who scored his fourth of the season.

Quinnipiac took a 3-0 lead with two goals in a span of two minutes in the second period. David Marshall scored on the rush at the 7:35 mark. Then at 9:29, Lampe score his second of the game on the power play with a blast from the left side. The Falcons were on their heels when freshman Greg Burgdoerfer was called for a five-minute major for checking from behind and given a game misconduct. However, just three seconds into the power play, Quinnipiac's Brandon Wong was called for holding putting the teams at four on four. Less than a minute later, the Falcons went on the power play after a minor fracas behind the Bobcat net and Air Force capitalized. Jeff Hajner scored his seventh of the year with a wrister from the high slot from Matt Fairchild and Greg Flynn at 11:49. Then, in the final minute, Air Force went back on the power play after a penalty on Bobcat Matt Sorterberg. Just before the period ended, Scott Mathis fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle that got past the Bobcat goalie Dan Clarke and hit the post.

Late in the third period, Air Force went on the power play and pulled it goaltender for a 6-on-4 advantage. The move paid off as Jeff Hajner scored a power-play goal from Flynn at the 17:23 mark. The Falcons pulled the goaltender again and continued to pressure the Bobcat goal, but were unable to score. Then with 1:22 left, Quinnipiac's Matt Sorterberg scored an empty-net goal from his own blue line to seal the win.

Air Force out-shot Quinnipiac, 31-16, in the game. Volkening made 12 saves for Air Force while Clarke made 29 for the Bobcats. AFA was 2-for-6 on the power play while the Bobcats were 1-for-5.

"I don't like the way we got in to the hole," Falcons head coach Frank Serratore said. "We got outworked. I haven't seen us get manhandled like that in a long time. We looked soft and meek and we were for a period and a half until Burgoerfer took that major penalty. Then for whatever reason we started fighting back. That period and a half was humiliating. We didn't deserve to win. We almost got back in it at the end. We are a struggling team right now and we need to find a way to get our swagger back. We have to regroup. We outshot them, but that was deceiving."

Air Force will play UConn on Jan. 3, at 7:05 p.m. in an Atlantic Hockey Association game in Storrs, Conn. The Falcons will conclude the trip against Yale Jan. 4, at 6:05 p.m. EST, in New Haven, Conn.

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