UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. • Five Falcons scored and Jason Torf made 34 saves as Air Force (3-3-3) beat Penn State (5-3) 5-1 Friday in a nonconference hockey game at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
Air Force opened the scoring at the 7:57 mark of the first period as Casey Kleisinger scored from freshman defenseman Max Hartner. Hartner collected his first college point as Kleisinger’s wrister beat P.J. Musico.
Kyle De Laurell’s second goal of the season gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead at 7:50 of the second period. Hartner started the play in his own end as Cole Gunner and Ben Carey picked up assists on the play. The Falcons took a 3-0 lead when Tony Thomas created a turnover in the attacking end. His shot was wide, but Chad Demers collected the rebound and scored his fourth of the season at 14:57 of the second. John Kruse added an assist.
In a penalty-filled third period, Penn State got on the board with a short-handed goal. Justin Kirchhevel intercepted a pass, skated in uncontested and scored at the 8:25 mark to cut the AFA lead to 3-1. Fifty-eight seconds later, the Falcons answered and regained the three-goal advantage. Carey fed Stephen Carew for his fourth of the season on the power play at the 9:23 mark for a 4-1 lead. With just over five minutes remaining, the Nittany Lions pulled their goalie in favor of the extra attacker. The Falcons took advantage as Tony Thomas scored an empty-netter from Demers and Alex Halloran at 16:32.
Penn State outshot Air Force, 35-24. Torf made 34 saves while Musico made 19 for the Nittany Lions. AFA was 1-for-4 on the power play and the Falcons killed all six PSU power plays.
“I can never remember playing so badly and winning a game 5-1,” coach Frank Serratore said. “We won tonight because we got luck and because Jason Torf was outstanding.”
Torf became the 11th goalie in team history to reach 1,500 saves. Torf pushed his career total to 1,511 and is the first Falcon to achieve the feat since Andrew Volkening (2007-10). Torf needs 177 saves to move into Air Force’s top 10.