WEST POINT, N.Y. — Senior Chris Migliaro scored 90 seconds into overtime as Army beat Air Force, 4-3, in a non-conference game Saturday night at Tate Rink in West Point, N.Y.
Army earned the series sweep for the first time since 2003 and just the third time in the history of the series. Army improved to 2-7-1 overall (0-3-1 AHA) this season while Air Force fell to 2-8-0 (1-1-0 CHA).
Air Force trailed 3-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the game, but came roaring back with three goals in a span of seven minutes to tie the game. The teams went into overtime tied at 3-3, but Migliaro gave the Black Knights a win when he tipped in a bouncing puck at the 1:30 mark of overtime.
Neither team scored in a first period that was marred by penalties. Each team was whistled for five penalties in the first period as the Black Knights out-shot the Falcons, 11-6.
Air Force opened up the second period with a lot of emotion and speed and controlled the game for the first 10 minutes. However, Army collected three consecutive power plays in the second half of the period and, as a result, took a 1-0 lead. With 4:58 remaining in the period, Casey Bickley sent a shot from the point that was tipped in by Hollweg one second after a power play had expired. Army took control of the last five minutes of the perio, putting a lot of pressure on Falcon goaltender Ian Harper and outshooting Air Force, 10-4, in the frame.
Army took a 2-0 lead just 21 seconds into the third period as Seth Beamer scored on a rebound. Army had a rush up ice and Robb Ross took the initial shot. Beamer put back the rebound for his third goal of the series. At the 6:35 mark, Luke Flicek gave the Black Knights a 3-0 lead. After an Air Force turnover deep in its own end, Hollweg’s shot was saved, but Flicek buried the rebound chance.
The game took a turn in favor of Air Force at the 9:15 mark when an Army’s Chris Colvin covered the puck in the crease which resulted in a penalty shot. Senior captain Matt Bader beat Brad Roberts with a back-hander for Air Force’s first goal of the game and its first in five periods against Army. Two minutes later, freshman Mike Phillipich started a rush that led to an Eric Ehn goal. With Army caught in a line change, Phillipich skated the puck up the right wing and, after getting the goalie out of position, made a pass to the top of the crease. Ehn tipped it in for his fifth goal of the season.
Phillipich then tied the game with 3:46 remaining. Billy Devoney collected the puck in the neutral zone and sent it up ice to Phillipich. He took the puck up the right wing and his slap shot from the top of the circle beat Roberts high to the far post to tie the game at 3-3.
In overtime, Air Force had one rush up ice as Brooks Turnquist’s shot from the point was saved. On the ensuing rush, Army got the puck in deep behind the Air Force net. Ross tried a wrap-around shot that never got through. A pile of players converged near the left post and the puck squirted out through the pile to the center of the crease where Migliaro tipped in his second of the season.
“Army deserved to win the game,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “We had some momentum early, but until the penalty shot it was all Army. We put ourselves in tough position getting down by three, but we almost stole it. We had all the momentum after Bader scored, but they took it to the net and the puck went in. It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Army out-shot Air Force in two of the three periods and had a 32-22 advantage in the game. Army was 0-for-7 on the power play while Air Force was 0-for-6. Harper, who made his first career start against Army, made 28 saves for Air Force. Roberts, who improved his record against Air Force to 5-2, made 19 saves.
“We have had a good run against them, but you can’t win all the time,” Serratore said. “What a great game it ended up being. We needed to put them away early and we didn’t. They got the first goal in the game and they are a tough team to beat when they have a lead. We went five periods without scoring and that is demoralizing. That would have been a good tie or a great win, but it didn’t happen that way.”