WEST POINT, N.Y. — Army scored four unanswered goals to erase a 4-0 Air Force lead, but a power-play goal with 56 seconds left spoiled the comeback attempt Saturday night as the Falcons held on for a 5-4 decision.
Air Force defenseman Brian Reaney’s second goal of the evening in the final minute of play accounted for the Falcons’ second victory over Army (4-11-2) in as many nights. The Black Knights’ Mike McLean went off for holding at 18:46, giving Air Force its 14th power-play opportunity of the game.
Four of Air Force’s five goals came with a man advantage.
Army’s Tim Fisher capped the Black Knights’ rally, scoring twice, two minutes apart, in the third period. It was Fisher’s first multiple-goal game of the season and the ninth of his career. Fisher tipped a shot from the point by teammate Joe Dudek past Air Force goalie Mike Polidor at 14:18, while Army was on the power play, to tie the game at 4-4.
Senior goaltender Scott Hamilton was spectacular in net in his first action since Nov. 24 at UMass-Lowell. Hamilton kept the Black Knights in the game, making 43 saves on the evening. Hamilton has now made 94 saves in just his last two outings. Polidor made 27 saves opposite Hamilton to pick up his sixth victory of the season.
After Air Force (7-7) made it 4-0 at the 14:06 mark of the second period, Black Knights’ defenseman Matt Field scored 43 seconds later when he jumped out of the penalty box and took a pass from Eric Joyce, going in on a breakaway. Jon Boyle then brought Army within two at the 17-minute mark.
The Falcons’ Andy Berg scored the game’s first two goals in the first period, and Reaney added a third to stake Air Force to a 3-0 lead after one. Falcons’ center Derek Olson then pushed the lead to 4-0 with Air Force’s third power-play tally of the game.
Berg and Reaney led Air Force with two goals apiece, while Scott Zwiers had four assists. Spanky Leonard had two assists for the Falcons as well.
Fisher and Matt Field were the only multiple-point scorers for Army. Field assisted on Fisher’s first goal of the third period in addition to his breakaway tally in the second.
The game was marred by 29 penalties that yielded a total of 22 power-play opportunities for both teams combined. Air Force finished 4-for-14 a man up; Army was 2-for-8. The two teams played five-on-five hockey for just 24:39 of the entire game.