COLORADO SPRINGS — Seven different Falcons put goals on the board to help lead Air Force to a 8-3 victory over Fairfield Sunday afternoon at the Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs.
The Falcons came out flying in the first period, scoring early and often to complete their two-game series sweep over Fairfield. Air Force forward Derek Olson opened the scoring just 1:49 into the first period, beating Fairfield goalie Scott Wagner. That was just the start for the Falcons, who would score four more goals in the first period of play.
“We knew that coming out early and being physical would set the tone,” said Falcon forward Spanky Leonard, who collected four assists in the game. “We wanted to send a message to them that today would be no different than Friday night. We played physically, got a few goals, and really did a good job establishing our game.”
Air Force Head Coach Frank Serratore agreed, and credited the strong physical start as one of the three main reasons the game went in the Falcons’ favor.
“This game came down to three things,” said Serratore. “First, we came out and just exploded in the first period. We played hard and made things happen.”
Serratore also credited his special teams play and goaltending.
“Special teams and goaltending decide games at this level,” said Serratore. “Our special teams were just awesome tonight. We had four power-play goals and a shorthanded one, plus we killed off eight penalties. Goaltending was also important. They did not get the goaltending they needed early, and it decided the game.”
Air Force won the game with a balanced attack, as three of their lines contributed goals. Leonard led the team with four assists, while Olson ended the game with three points on two goals and an assist. Other Falcon multi-point scorers were Shane Saum, Andy Berg and Brian Rodgers who each added a goal and an assist.
With the win, Air Force improved its’ record to 2-2-0, while Fairfield fell to 0-2-0.
“It feels good to get a few wins and be back at .500,” said Leonard. “Compared to last week, this is much better. It was a tough weekend in Fairbanks, but it taught us that we needed to get back to basics, play more physically, and just outwork our opponents, and I think we did that this weekend.”
The Falcons return to action with three games next weekend at home. They take on Holy Cross Friday and Saturday night at 7:05, and then face the U.S. National Under 18 Team Sunday night, also at 7:05. Fairfield plays in the Quinnipiac Cup next weekend, facing off against American International in the first round, while Bentley takes on Quinnipiac in the other first round contest.