Struggling Colorado College could not put away Air Force and the Falcons made them pay during a 3-1 nonconference victory.
The Pikes Peak Trophy was hoisted for the first time by the Falcons, leaving the Tigers looking for answers and the visitors savoring a special moment in their program's history.
"This is a top, top moment for Air Force hockey," Falcons coach Frank Serratore said. "Winning the inaugural game on their ice is pretty special and something that can never being taken away."
After CC controlled the opening period, the Falcons (7-3) won the second and third periods, rallied and pulled away to down their crosstown rivals, improving to 3-3 over the past six games against the Tigers, including two wins in a row at World Arena.
The Tigers (1-7-1) had a chance to rally, drawing a 5-on-3 power play for 1:25 in the third period, but the nation's worst power play - now 2-for-41 - could not break through. CC's winless streak increased to eight games.
"We don't have enough guys stepping up and making plays." Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "We have younger guys still learning and we have older guys who have not adjusted to their new roles. Until that happens, it will be tough going."
Air Force scored a power-play goal with 51.8 seconds left in the second to tie the game at 1-1 when sophomore center Ben Carey lifted a rebound past CC senior goalie Josh Thorimbert (26 saves).
That delighted the many Falcons fans among the 6,041 paid attendance.
"That was a killer goal," Owens said. "That gave them some jump headed into the third."
Scott Holm scored the winning goal less than three minutes in and George Michalke III sealed it with a breakaway with 7:34 remaining.
The game turned in the Falcons' favor during the second period after they started attacking the net.
After managing only one shot from between the faceoff circles in the first period, an attempt by Holm in the opening seconds, the Falcons generated three, including the power-play score, in the second. They added six from close-range in third for the two go-ahead goals.
"(In the first), we were too passive and let them skate in too much," Torf said. "In the second and third, we played better team defense and that made my job a lot easier."
He made 11 of his 34 saves in the first period.
"We were lucky to get out of that period only down 1-0," Serratore said. "We become a dangerous animal the longer we stick around in games. They expended a lot of energy that first period and only had a goal to show for it. That was thanks to us have the best player on the ice, No. 29 (Torf)."
Colorado College scored only 104 seconds into the game when freshman defenseman Gustav Olofsson tallied his first goal as a Tiger.