With such a young, inexperienced hockey squad, Air Academy got some much-needed confidence on Monday night.
Three players notched their first goals of the season for the Kadets, including Nick Law who scored his first two, and Air Academy beat Rampart 7-1 in a Peak Conference matchup at Sertich Ice Center.
"I've been out there trying to provide for the team, trying to produce for the team," said Law, who also added an assist. "It's definitely important, especially in a conference game, to put a couple on the board. I think it's good to get a win like that, get the guys fired up after taking a beating Saturday (by Battle Mountain)."
Jared Kane opened the scoring just 55 seconds in with his first of the season and Mason Reiter's first put the Kadets up 4-0 late in the second period.
"It gives them confidence to play and it teaches them that they can score," said team-leading scorer Travis Hinton, who added his fifth of the season and posted a pair of assists.
Winning such an early conference matchup carries plenty of weight for the Kadets, who know it'll be tough going to earn a playoff spot.
"It's huge because it just keeps putting teams behind us and keeps moving us up in the standings and gives us more confidence for the next games coming up," Hinton said.
Kadets coach Dave Meisinger was excited to see so many new faces on the scoring sheet.
"We've tried to play a lot of kids in all our games," Meisinger said. "We just have a bunch of interchangeable parts."
Air Academy goalie Jake Ebmeyer appeared on his way to a shutout until Rampart's Tyler Adams banged in a rebound with 2:14 remaining.
"In the third period everyone was giving it their all and it worked out well," Adams said. "If we showed up and played the first period like we did the third I think we would've had ... at least a little closer of a game."
Rampart coach Josh McIntosh was less than pleased with the early effort from his team.
"We were very flat for the first two periods," McIntosh said. "You could see in the third we picked it up a notch, we had some chances."