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College Hockey:
Leonard Nets Hatter To Lead Air Force

— Senior Spanky Leonard scored a hat trick to lead Air Force to a 4-3 win over Bentley in a nonconference game Saturday.

The Falcons improved to 6-4 overall and earned their first road sweep since Army in 2001-02. Bentley fell to 1-5-1 overall. Air Force has beaten Bentley three times this season by a combined four goals.

“We’re not clicking on all cylinders right now, but we battled and we were able to overcome some adversity,” said Air Force head coach Frank Serratore. “We need to start playing better.”

Air Force had not scored on the power play in four games, but it was the man-advantage that gave the Falcons an early lead. Four minutes into the second period, Leonard scored from freshman Ryan Van Bockel and sophomore Steve Mead. Two minutes later, Van Bockel scored his first career goal from Matt Bader for a 2-0 lead.

Bentley answered with two goals early in the third period to tie the score. Ryan Mayhew and Paul Markarian scored power-play goals to tie the game at 2-2.

The Falcons capitalized on a Bentley penalty late in the third period to earn their fourth road win of the season. With just under four minutes left, Bentley’s Patrick Dineen was called for a five-minute spearing major and a two-minute holding minor.

Leonard scored two power-play goals 40 seconds apart to give the Falcons a 4-2 lead. Both goals came from Steve Mead and Ryan Wiggins, the first at 16:13 and his second at 16:58.

Bentley’s Brett Murphy scored a shorthanded goal with one second remaining in the game to make up the final margin.

“We have been struggling on the power play, but out power play clicked late in the game,” Serratore said. “We just kept working hard on the power play and we started executing better. We weathered the storm early and then rallied late in the game.

“Our seniors came through tonight,” Serratore said. “Shane Saum drew the penalty that led to the power play and Spanky Leonard scored our goals.”

Air Force outshot Bentley, 38-32, in the game. The Falcons were 3-for-11 on the power play while Bentley was 2-for-7.

Falcon freshman goaltender Peter Foster earned his first career victory as he made 29 saves, including 14 in the third period. Bentley goalie Geordan Murphy made 34 saves in the game.

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