Freshmen defensemen combined for two goals and two assists as Air Force defeated Mercyhurst 5-1 in an Atlantic Hockey Conference game Saturday at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Air Force (9-10-3, 4-8-2 AHC) drew first blood early as Trevor Stone scored his second of the season. Freshman defenseman Jake Levin forced a turnover and Trevor Stone tipped in Levin's pass at 3:47.
Mercyhurst (8-10-2, 5-7-2 AHC) tied the game 42 seconds into the second period. The Falcons then scored twice in 51 seconds for a 3-1 lead. Pierce Pluemer scored his second of the season at 4:15. Levin's shot was saved and Pluemer put back the rebound. After Ben Kucera drew a penalty, the Falcons capitalized for a 3-1 lead. Freshman Alex Mehnert scored his first goal at 5:06. Tyler Ledford and Erik Baskin assisted. With 19 seconds left in the second period, freshman defenseman Zack Mirageas scored from Kyle Mackey and Erich Jaeger for a 4-1 lead.
Evan Giesler scored an empty-netter with 1:52 left in the third.
"The better team won tonight," coach Frank Serratore said. "We had to get something out of this series. We had some key guys out of the lineup tonight, and we had a lot of guys step up."