There was joyful noise coming from the Air Force locker room Saturday night after a home sweep of Bentley.
“They just sang their sweep song,” coach Frank Serratore said of the decades-old tune that he likened to a fraternity song.
“A couple weeks ago, we didn’t know what decade we were going to hear that again. How quickly things can turn.”
Kieran Durgan, held scoreless through the first nine games of the season, broke through with two goals. The second, which came on Air Force’s unproductive power play, helped the hosts recover to win 3-2 after giving up a 2-0 lead for the second straight night.
The Air Force man advantage saved some face after giving up a short-handed breakaway goal. Durgan took a rebound out from behind the net and sent it over Jason Grande from a tight angle for the game-winner.
“It was a slow start obviously, for me and for the team,” Durgan said. “I’d say the team’s back, for sure.”
“We know we’re a good team. We stuck with that and I stuck with that. My linemates stayed patient with me. Sooner or later they were going to start falling and they started falling this weekend.”
Bentley dominated play for long stretches and Alex Schilling weathered it, making 32 saves. He had little chance on both goals against and made a few impressive stops.
Grande took his turn in net for Bentley but Air Force returned to the hot hand. Schilling impressed in the first full series of his career.
Durgan said Schilling is giving the team, which started 0-7, confidence.
“A little too confident, with some of the turnovers we had. We had Schills to bail us out,” he said. “We’ll get those down. As long as we have Schills back there, we’ll be playing pretty good.”
Max Harper opened the scoring. Trevor Stone and Brady Tomlak moved it around the boards and out front to the junior.
Durgan’s first goal staked the Falcons to a lead they’d lose by the end of the second period. Matt Gosiewski pushed one in during a pileup in front, then Jakov Novak took off short-handed. He had time and space to select some tricks and tucked it around Schilling.
But Air Force rallied and settled in, dialing back the forecheck.
A bye week is coming up, which offers time to heal after a rough series. Captain Matt Pulver, who absorbed big hits all weekend, didn’t return after the first period. He was one of several seniors missing.
Then the Falcons will go for four in a row, which would be music to everyone’s ears.
“With the hole that we dug early, losing the first two league games at home, to be able to battle back, win three in a row ... to echo what I said last night, I never thought I’d be excited about being 3-7,” Serratore said. “But pretty excited about it.”