WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army goalie Cole Bruns made 33 saves as the Black Knights defeated Air Force, 1-0, in Game 2 of the Atlantic Hockey Conference quarterfinal series Saturday in West Point, N.Y.
Air Force won, 5-3, in Game 1. The winner advances to the AHC Final Four, March 16-17, in Rochester, N.Y.
Air Force (19-14-5) controlled play early in the first period, but the first penalty of the game went against the Falcons and Army (15-14-6) took the early lead.
Dominic Franco received the puck at the post to the right of Billy Christopoulos and then centered it to Zach Evancho in the slot. Evancho scored his eighth of the season at 8:29 for a 1-0 lead. Air Force then outshot Army, 8-1, over the next eight minutes, and had a power play, but were not able to tie the score. The Falcons outshot Army 11-6 in the first period.
“What a hard-fought game this was,” coach Frank Serratore said. “We had some shots, but we couldn’t convert. They scored a beautiful power-play goal. The power play is the strength of their game and they move it really well.”
The Falcons outshot the Black Knights, 11-5, in the second period, and had almost six minutes of power play time, but were unable to get anything past Bruns.
Air Force pulled its goalie in the final 1:50 and had two shots, one that was saved by Bruns and another that was blocked by the defense.
The Falcons were 0-for-6 on the power play.
“If our season ends tomorrow, we have one thing to blame — our power play. We had a 5-on-3, two 4-on-3’s and had six power plays,” Serratore said. “You can’t win if you can’t score.”