AIC junior Alexander MacMillan scored 59 seconds into overtime to lift the Yellow Jackets to a 4-3 win over Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Friday, Jan. 3, at the Olympia Ice Center in Springfield, Mass. AIC snapped a nine-game losing streak and improved to 4-12-0 overall, 4-6-0 in the league. Air Force's five-game unbeaten streak ended as the Falcons fall to 9-6-4 overall and 4-3-3 in the AHA.
Sophomore defenseman Max Hartner put the Falcons on the board at the 14:54 mark with a slap shot from the center point. Chad Demers and Cole Gunner battled for the puck in the corner and Gunner found Hartner who netted his second of the season. Air Force took a 2-0 late in the second period as freshman A.J. Reid scored his first career goal. George Michalke III gave the puck to Ryan Doucet on the left side. Doucet fired a shot that was tipped in front by Reid at 17:56.
Midway through the third period, AIC cut the Falcon lead to 2-1 on the rush. Chris Porter scored from his linemates Blake Peake and Jason Popek at 10:38. Late in the period, Air Force regained its two-goal lead. Chad Demers netted his team-leading ninth of the season at 17:03. Scott Holm and Cole Gunner brought the puck in the zone and Demers' tight-angle shot from the bottom of the circle gave the Falcons a 3-1 lead. However, from that point on, AIC scored the next three goals. On the rush, David Norris scored with 1:27 left in the third period. With 1:03 left in the third, AIC pulled its goaltender for the extra attacker. Then with 36 seconds left, a penalty was called on Demers and the Yellow Jackets had a two-man advantage. After Air Force cleared the puck once, AIC brought the puck back in to the zone and created a flurry in front of the net. AIC defenseman Jake Williams slipped the puck past the right pad of Paul Moberg to tie the game at 3-3 with 15.3 seconds remaining.
In overtime, Falcon defenseman Alex Halloran took a shot from the left point that was blocked out front and AIC went on a 2-on-1 rush. MacMillan skated the puck into the zone on the right side and his wrister beat Moberg high, glove side for the game-winner 59 seconds into overtime.
Air Force outshot AIC, 23-19. However, AIC outshot Air Force, 13-7, in the third period and overtime. AFA was 0-for-3 on the power play, while AIC was 1-for-3. Moberg, in his first career start, made 15 saves. Hunter Leisner made 20 saves for the Yellow Jackets.
"We played a really good game and had good energy," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We played good enough to win the game. We played good enough defensively, but we needed to make one more save in the third period and didn't. It's as simple as that. We need to put this one in the rearview mirror and move on."
Air Force and AIC conclude the two-game series on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 7:05 p.m. ET in Springfield, Mass.