Updated: February 23, 2013 at 12:00 am
ROCHESTER, N.Y. • Kyle De Laurell scored two goals as Air Force beat RIT, 5-3, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Friday. Air Force improved to 15-10-7 overall and 13-6-5 in the league. RIT fell to 12-14-5, 10-10-4. Air Force remains in second place in the league with 31 points and can clinch a first-round bye Saturday with a win over RIT.
“This was a great win for us,” coach Frank Serratore said. “We had to come from behind to win on the road and you have to be able to do that if you aspire to be a champion. We played a great third period. RIT was a difficult team to play against. Our penalty kill tonight was big.”
RIT opened the scoring on the rush. Greg Noyes made a centering pass and Anthony Hamburg tipped it in for a 1-0 lead at 9:38 of the opening period.
Fifty-six seconds into the second period, Adam McKenzie scored on a 4-on-3 to tie the game. Chad Demers made a centering pass to Kyle De Laurell in the slot. De Laurell tipped it to McKenzie side as he netted his fourth of the season.
The Falcons killed two penalties and the score remained tied until late in the period. RIT took a 2-1 lead as Matt Garbowsky scored from the slot at 15:04.
Early in the third period, Air Force scored two goals in a 31-second span to take a 3-2 lead. Pine Creek grad De Laurell tied the game at 2-2 at the 3:54 mark of the third period. Ben Carey took a shot that hit Chad Demers in front. Goaltender Jordan Ruby went down to make the save on Demers, but the puck bounced into the crease and De Laurell pushed it over the goal line. AFA took its first lead of the game at 4:25 as Casey Kleisinger scored his sixth of the season. Jason Fabian and Max Hartner had assists.
Trailing 3-2 with 1:33 remaining in the third period, RIT pulled its goalie. Tony Thomas collected a loose puck and his wrister into the empty net gave the Falcons a 4-2 lead with 1:21 remaining. The Tigers’ Garbowsky scored an extra-attacker goal with 53 seconds remaining. De Laurell’s second of the game and 16th of the season sealed the victory.