COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. – Freshman forward Jeff Carroll (Kingston, Ont.) had his first two-goal game of his career Friday night as the Sacred Heart men's hockey team fell 6-4 to the Air Force Falcons at Cadet Ice Arena.
Sacred Heart (6-17-0, 5-11-0 AHA) got on the scoreboard first Friday night. With 7:33 remaining in the period, Jordan Minello (Sweaburg, Ont.) forced a turnover in the Air Force zone and fed the puck to Carroll. Carroll fired a shot past Chris Truehl and into the back of the net to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead. The goal was Carroll's third in as many games. Air Force tied the game 1-1 with 4:22 remaining in the opening period. Cole Gunner finished off a breakaway with a backhand shot off of a Chad Demers pass to level the game. The Pioneers outshot the Falcons 9-8 in the first period as both teams were 0-for-1 on the power play.
Air Force (13-6-4, 8-3-3 AHA) opened the second period with an early power play. Sacred Heart was able to keep the game tied, escaping the Air Force man advantage as Dan Weissenhofer hit the crossbar late in the power play. Coltyn Hansen (South Delta, B.C.) had an opportunity on an odd-man rush to put Sacred Heart back in the lead, but Truehl stopped his shot with 16:05 left in the period. Air Force took the lead with 13:24 to play in the second, as Jason Fabian knocked in the rebound of a Ryan Timar shot to make the score 2-1. The Pioneers went on the power play with 11:40 left in the second period and promptly tied the game. David Iacono (Newmarket, Ont.) scored his first career goal on the man advantage, blasting a shot from the blueline that went into the top corner of the goal to make it 2-2 at the 10:28 mark. Off the ensuing faceoff, Evan Jasper (Whitby, Ont.) pounced on a loose puck and scored to give Sacred Heart a 3-2 lead with 10:09 remaining in the period.
The Pioneers then found themselves in the penalty box three different times late in the second period. Sacred Heart killed the first two penalties, but Air Force finally scored on the third power play. Weisenhoffer scored the tying goal with 2:17 remaining in the period, getting assists from Johnny Hrabovsky and A.J. Reid to put the score at 3-3. The Pioneers fought off a flurry of late shots from Air Force to keep the game 3-3 heading into the third period.
Air Force kept up the offensive surge to start the third, outshooting Sacred Heart 4-2 in the first four minutes. For his part, Andrew Bodnarchuk (Saskatoon, Sask.) made every save to keep the game tied at 3-3. Justin Danforth (Oshawa, Ont.) had a chance to give the Pioneers in the lead with 15:36 to play. He got the puck in the slot right in front of the Falcons' goal but Truehl made a kicksave. Truehl had to make another big save on Chad Filteau (Regina, Sask.) one minute later. Air Force took back the lead with 10:29 remaining. Max Birkinbine forced a turnover at the Sacred Heart blue line and got the puck to Max Hartner, who fired a shot past Bodnarchuk's glove to give the Falcons a 4-3 lead. Carroll had an opportunity to tie the game with 6:46 to play, firing a shot off a faceoff that Truehl had to catch in his glove. The Pioneers tied the game 4-4 with 4:12 to play as Carroll slammed home the rebound of his own shot.
Scott Holm had a chance to put Air Force back in front with 3:00 left in the third, but Bodnarchuk stood tall in his goal to make the save. Bodnarchuk had to make a sprawling save 31 seconds later to keep the game 4-4. Hansen had an opportunity to put the Pioneers in front with 1:58 to play but put a shot right in Truehl's glove. Air Force took a 5-4 lead with 1:30 to play as Tony Thomas deflected a Timer shot right in front of the Sacred Heart net past Bodnarchuk. The Falcons got an empty net goal from Cole Gunner with 0:46 seconds left to make the final score 6-4.
Air Force outshot Sacred Heart 32-27 for the game, including a 13-6 edge in the second period. The Pioneers were 1-for-2 on the power play as the Falcons were 1-for-4. Bodnarchuk made 26 saves for Sacred Heart as Truehl had 23.
The two teams wrap up their weekend series Saturday night at 9:05 p.m.