USAFA, Colo. – Air Force scored three goals in a six minute span in the 2nd period, which was the catalyst in its 4-0 win over Bentley in game one of the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals on Friday night.
Bentley had gotten the better of the 1st period, as they limited Air Force to just three shots and created several good scoring chances. But Air Force opened the 2nd period with three goals on its way to the 4-0 win and a 1-0 series lead.
In the latter half of the first period, Bentley had two good scoring chances. The first came on a two-on-one rush into the offensive zone with Ryner Gorowsky (Lino Lakes, Minn./Fairbanks) and Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna), that had Gorowsky feed French down the right side, only for French's shot to be denied by Air Force goalie Shane Starrett.
A few minutes later, a shot from the blue line by defenseman Alexey Solovyev (Moscow, Russia/Lone Star) was saved by Starrett, but the rebound kicked loose to Drew Callin (Middleton, Wisc./Janesville). Starrett was on the ice scrambling for the puck, but was still able to come up with the save.
In the 2nd period, Air Force got the game's first goal from defenseman Phil Boje at the 3:12 mark with a slap shot from the left point that got through traffic in front of the net. Five minutes then passed, but Air Force struck for two goals in a 35 second span from center Evan Feno and defenseman Dan Bailey to take a 3-0 lead.
In the closing minutes of the period, Bentley put a flurry of shots on Starrett, which included an apparent goal from Jake Kauppila (Gurnee, Ill./Trail) with 11 seconds left, but the goal was overturned after a review.
Air Force would add a 4th goal with 2:54 remaining in the 3rd period, an empty-net goal by Matt Koch, to provide the final margin.
The Falcons, now down 0-1 in the series, need to win tomorrow night's game two to force a decisive third game for the second straight series. Game two will get underway at 9:05 eastern.