PLYMOUTH, Mich. — Unlike Friday, when just five goals were scored in the first period, Saturday’s Wayne State-Air Force game saw a single goal on the scoreboard after the first period as the visiting Falcons hung on for a 3-1 win to complete a weekend sweep over the hometown Warriors.
With the victories, Air Force (14-20-2, 6-13-1 CHA) has earned the fifth seed for next weekend’s CHA Tournament in Kearney, Neb., and WSU (8-23-3, 4-15-1 CHA) takes the sixth spot.
The outcome was the first road sweep ever for the Falcons and the first league sweep since March 2002. Air Force freshman goalie Pete Foster, from nearby Canton, earned his sixth win of the season making 26 saves.
“Pete Foster is a big-game goalie and that’s why I recruited him,” Air Force head coach Frank Serratore said. “He’s been in net for our last four wins before last night and he’s a guy that goes in and calmly gets the job done for us. He’s a cool customer in goal.”
Tom Starkey got the ball rolling for the Falcons 6:46 into the first period by banging in a loose puck in a crowd in front of Wayne State goalie Marc Carlson.
Andrew Ramsey made it 2-0 Air Force when he snapped a shot over Carlson’s glove from the bottom of the faceoff circle at 9:36 of the middle stanza.
Air Force then took a 3-0 advantage 82 seconds into the third period when Ross Miller netted his first goal of the year.
Wayne State co-captain Travis Rycroft ruined Foster’s shutout at 11:30 with a goal past the screened netminder.
“We’re at opposite ends of the earth from last weekend when we swept Huntsville,” WSU head coach Bill Wilkinson said. “I’m disappointed in the whole weekend not just in the results, but also in the effort. We better come better prepared to play next weekend or it’s going to get shoved right down our throats.”
Carlson, one of six last-year players on the Warriors, finished with 28 saves. Before the game, Wayne State honored seniors Matt Milanowski, Nick Stodgell, Chris Vail, Rycroft, Carlson and redshirt junior Aaron Hundt, who will graduate this year after transferring from Michigan State prior to last season.
Looking ahead to next week in Kearney, Wayne State will play Alabama-Huntsville while the Falcons have drawn Findlay in the quarterfinals.
“Clich or not, we have to take it one game at a time and one opponent at a time,” Serratore said. “Findlay is the hottest team in the league right now, but we’re going to go in there with one thing on our minds.”
Wayne State finishes the year 1-11-1 in home games played at the Compuware Sports Arena and Taylor SportsPlex.