Air Force bludgeoned during second game at Mercyhurst
BY HUGH JOHNSON email@example.com
The Gazette, Colorado Springs
The Air Force Falcons hockey team played well in the second and third periods of Sunday’s contest against Mercyhurst. Unfortunately for the Falcons, the game had long been decided. Mercyhurst scored four times in the first period en route to a 5-1 victory Sunday and a series split over visiting Air Force. “They lost a big game at home last night. They came out with a sense of urgency and they beat us in every area of the game in that first period,” Falcons coach Frank Serratore said in a postgame radio interview. “We died of a thousand cuts and that can’t happen.” Hungry after a 5-2 defeat against Air Force on Saturday, the Lakers took it to the visitors early. Forward Ryan Coughlin opened the scoring Sunday with a goal at the 2:48. Minutes later, Air Force was called for too many men on the ice. Mercyhurst scored on the ensuing power play courtesy of a one-timer from forward Phillip Waugh from the right circle. The Lakers made it 3-0 at the 9:15 mark after putting back a rebound off a shot from center Connor Pelc. Forward Kyler Head was credited with the goal. Forward Keanan Stewart scored on another rebound at the 11:19 mark. After the fourth score, Serratore swapped goaltenders, benching starter Guy Blessing for Maiszon Balboa. Balboa played well in relief of Blessing, posting 16 saves in the contest and allowing just one score, a second for Coughlin at 15:17 of the third period. The lone Air Force tally came from forward Holt Oliphant at 4:33 in the second period. It marked his second goal of the series. The Falcons fell to 7-7 overall on the season and 4-2 in Atlantic Hockey Association play. Air Force returns to action Friday and Saturday at Canisius in Buffalo, N.Y. Moving forward, Serratore would like to see a complete effort from his team for all six periods of a series. “We haven’t proven that we have the ability to put together six periods on the road in which we know that we’re going to eventually have to take somebody’s best punch. These teams are going to come back, especially when you win that first night, they’re going to come back with a sense of urgency,” the coach said on the radio.