TROY, N.Y. — Brooks Turnquist’s second goal of the game and third point of the night came at 13:19 of overtime to give Air Force a 3-2 win in the first round of the Rensselaer/Bank of America Holiday Hockey Tournament.
Turnquist’s goal was unassisted as a bad clearing attempt was stopped by him. He blasted a shot from the far faceoff circle that trickled past Jason Smith, giving the Falcons the win.
“This was such an exciting game,” Air Force head coach Frank Serratore said. “There were a lot of penalties called, but both teams’ penalty kills played very good. There was nothing easy out there tonight. It got to the point that everyone was numb, I was numb on the bench, and we just got the last bounce.”
Each team was called for 11 penalties, with Air Force getting 11 power plays and Sacred Heart a total of nine. The Falcons succeeded on two attemptes while the Pioneers only did on one try.
Air Force got on the board first when Brooks Turnquist took a soft wrist shot from the point on the power play and it deflected off of a Pioneer and between Smith’s pads for the 1-0 lead.
Sacred Heart was the recipient of a five-minute power play towards the end of the first period but could not capitalize as Peter Foster made save after save on the major penalty.
Sacred Heart would then take a five-on-three opportunity to tie the game. A great feed from Alexandre Parent to Pierre-Luc O’Brien saw O’Brien alone in front. He made a deke and put a backhand shot on Foster. Foster had it under his left pad, but as he moved, it slid underneath him for the goal.
The Falcons took the lead on a five-on-three power play – their fifth of the game – when Brian Gineo slapped one from the top of the right faceoff circle past Smith.
The Pioneers rallied to tie the game with just 4:02 left when Garret Larson took a clean faceoff win by Rocco Molinaro and fired a shot at Foster. Foster squeezed the pads with the puck between them, but the momentum was enough for the puck to trickle through and over the line. The goal was the 100th point of Larson’s career. He became the fifth Pioneer to reach the century mark.
The win for Air Force also gave the CHA a Commissioner’s Cup victory over Atlantic Hockey.
The Falcons, 5-4-2, will play in the Championship Game against host Rensselaer at 7:00pm ET, while Sacred Heart, 5-7-0, will play in the Consolation Game against Robert Morris at 4:00pm ET.