The No. 19 Air Force hockey team joined the school’s football team in being shut out by Army on Saturday, falling 2-0 at Cadet Ice Arena.
Army goaltender Cole Bruns made 29 saves as Air Force was swept for the first time this season.
“The better team won this weekend,” coach Frank Serratore said. “We gave it the old college try and it wasn’t enough. It’s not Army’s fault we were decimated by injuries.”
Twelve minutes into the second period, the Falcons (5-4-1, 1-3-0 Atlantic Hockey Conference) turned the puck over in front of their net and took a penalty as they recovered. Army’s Alex Wilkinson took advantage 19 seconds into the ensuing power play.
The Black Knights went 3 for 5 on the power play over the weekend. Air Force, meanwhile, had trouble generating traffic in front of Bruns. The Falcons had a 29-22 edge in shots Saturday, but the Black Knights goaltender had a good look at many of them.
“They did a hell of a job blocking shots, they did a good job of clearing us out in front of the net,” Air Force center Brady Tomlak said. “We’ve got to do a better job getting in front of the net, take his eyes away and get pucks through.”
The Falcons pressed in the final minutes and Army’s Conor Andrle got behind the home team’s defense on a 3-on-1. He took his time and beat Air Force goaltender Billy Christopoulos with 1:24 to play to seal the victory.
Army (5-3-0, 5-3-0 AHC) shut out Air Force at home for the first time 2003. The Falcons were 11-1-3 in their past 15 games against Army.
“They’ve sucked a lot of our exhaust fumes over the years,” Serratore said.
Tomlak, who filled the injured Kyle Haak’s spot, said the Falcons will focus on jump-starting their offense.
“We’re not getting guys back soon, so we have to keep momentum, keep building,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys in here. It’s good to see them grow, good to see them learn. We’re only going to grow from here.”