Niagara ended Air Force’s five-game point streak with a lucky bounce after the visiting Falcons rallied in the third period. Air Force erased a two-goal deficit only to fall 4-3.
The Falcons dominated possession in 5-on-5 overtime but Niagara’s Eric Cooley scored on a redirection 53 seconds before the game went down as an official tie and each team secured at least a point.
Air Force’s recent successful run didn’t feature a multi-goal comeback. Now at least the Falcons can add that to their resume. But coach Frank Serratore was displeased with many aspects of the game in a radio interview.
“It’s unfortunate we battled back to tie it only to fall behind again,” Serratore said. “Real disappointing.”
Serratore pointed out the team was “out special teamed,” “out-goaltended” and bested on the faceoff dot, particularly late.
“You get what you deserve,” he said.
Sophomore goaltender Alex Schilling (22 saves) picked up the first loss of his career. The Air Force power play, which received work as the team spent the week of Thanksgiving on the road, sputtered again, going 0-for-3.
Ludwig Stenlund and Chris Harpur scored on each of Niagara’s first two man advantages before Max Harper answered for the Falcons. The junior pounced on a loose puck out front for his fifth goal of the season.
The lead was short-lived as fifty seconds later, the Falcons couldn’t clear. Brandon Stanley restored the two-goal lead, picking up the puck, crossing the ice and beating Schilling.
Midway through the third period, Marshall Bowery scored his first of the season on a 2-on-1 to make it 3-2.
The Falcons pulled Schilling for the extra attacker and Trevor Stone (1 goal, 1 assist) buried a loose puck to send Air Force to overtime for the second straight game.
The last one at Robert Morris went down as a tie, so Serratore has been denied his 400th win at Air Force in two straight attempts.