College Hockey:
Findlay Overwhelms Out-manned Air Force

— Findlay scored three second-period goals and went on to a 4-2 victory over Air Force in a CHA game Saturday night, Jan. 5, at the Clauss Arena in Findlay, Ohio. Findlay swept the two-game series from the Falcons.

Air Force (9-9-0, 0-6-0 CHA), played shorthanded for the second straight night. Four Falcons, Andy Berg, Spanky Leonard, Tom Starkey and Brian Reaney were suspended for violating team rules and missed the Findlay series.

Despite having one-third of their point-production out of the lineup, the Falcons gave a tremendous effort. Air Force outshot Findlay, 28-23, and a well-played, balanced game.

“We had a great effort and tonight, that’s good enough for me,” said Air Force head coach Frank Serratore. “That is as good as we can play with the guys that we had in the lineup. We played with a lot of heart and spirit and never quit.”

Findlay (8-10-0, 4-4-0), jumped on the board first as Rigel Shaw scored a power-play goal from Brant Somerville and Jason Maxwell. Shaw was camped on the far post and beat AFA goalie Zach Sikich at 3:54. The Falcons answered four minutes later with a power-play goal of their own. Derek Olson scored a power-play goal after winning a faceoff and took a pass from Shane Saum for his 11th goal of the season.

The Oilers took control in the second period with three goals. The first two came within a span of 17 seconds midway through the period. Aaron Weegar scored the first goal at 9:50 and Mark Bastl scored the second goal at 10:07. Bastl’s goal came off of a centering pass from the corner that hit several players, took a strange bounce off of Sikich and went into the net.

The backbreaker for the Falcons came late in the second period. Air Force got just one shot off a power play and then just seconds later Findlay scored a goal in transition. Kris Wiebe scored on a two-on-one for a 4-1 Oiler lead.

Air Force continued to play hard late in the third period, despite being down by three goals, and lit the lamp with four seconds left. Ryan Wiggins led a charge up ice and fed Justin Hamilton on the left wing. His shot was saved, but Scott Zwiers cleaned up the rebound for his seventh goal of the season.

“We fought right to the end tonight and that’s all I can ask from our guys,” Serratore said. “We didn’t get any points in the series, but we gave a tremendous effort.”

The Falcons were 1-for-5 on the power play while the Oilers were 1-for-4. Sikich made 19 saves in the game. Findlay goaltender Kevin Fines stopped 26 of Air Force’s 28 shots.

Air Force returns to action Jan. 11-12 with a two-game CHA series against Wayne State in Detroit.

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