WEST POINT, N.Y. — Air Force scored four unanswered goals for a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Army in the first game of a two-game nonconference series Friday at Tate Rink.
Army, 2-10-2 overall this season, dominated the first period and took a 2-0 lead. Tim Murphy scored on a shot through traffic just 1:38 into the game for a 1-0 lead. With less than 30 seconds left in the first period, Nathan Mayfield scored a power-play goal that could have been a backbreaker for a lethargic Air Force team.
“We were flat in the first period,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “They were pitching and we were catching. I told the guys that we just had to step up and play with more intensity. Our guys worked extremely hard in the last two periods. This was a great win for our guys and now we have to focus on Saturday night.”
Air Force, 6-7 overall, pulled a Jekyll and Hyde act between periods and dominated play for the final 40 minutes. Air Force outshot Army, 26-15, in the final two periods. The Falcons picked up the pace in the second period and the result was a power-play goal by Andy Berg with 22 seconds left. Berg fired a wrister from the point assisted by Scott Zwiers and Spanky Leonard.
The third period was all Air Force as Joe Locallo scored twice and Berg added his second goal of the game. Locallo tied the game at 2-2 at the 7:58 mark after Zwiers won the faceoff.
Berg netted the game-winner at 11:01 from Tom Starkey and Locallo. Starkey hustled up the ice to chase down a loose puck and created a flurry in front of the net. Berg flipped in a wrister from the right post for his seventh goal of the season.
Locallo put the game away at the 14:30 mark after another flurry in front of the net. Berg and Starkey again created havoc for Army goalie Jon Yaros and Locallo scored his fifth goal of the season.
Falcon goalie Mike Polidor, who kept the Falcons alive early, made 27 saves in the game.
The win for Air Force was their fifth straight over Army at West Point. The Falcons swept the Black Knights in 1997 and 1999 at Tate Rink. In five years under Serratore, Air Force is 8-1-1 against Army. Air Force extended its winning streak to three games after winning the Radisson Inn Classic last week.
Air Force and Army conclude the two-game series Saturday at Tate Rink.