PITTSBURGH - Robert Morris built a 4-1 lead in the second period and then held off Air Force for a 5-3 win in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Saturday, Jan. 25, at the 84 Lumber Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa. Robert Morris swept the two-game series and improved to 8-13-3 overall and 8-6-3 in the AHA. Air Force, who was swept in a conference road series for the first time since November, 2012, fell to 14-8-4 overall and 9-5-3 in the league. Robert Morris jumped to fifth place in the league while Air Force now stands in fourth.
Robert Morris controlled the first half of the opening period and held a 9-1 shot advantage. The Colonials opened the scoring on the rush as Cody Wydo scored his team-leading 16th of the season from Evan Moore. Later in the period, Falcon senior Ryan Timar drew a penalty and Air Force went on the power play. Cole Gunner's shot from the slot hit the pipe, but Adam McKenzie put back the rebound at the 12:19 mark for his fourth of the season. Scott Holm also assisted on the goal. Air Force started the second period with 90 seconds of power-play time. However, Robert Morris won a faceoff and sent the puck up to Zac Lynch who skated in uncontested on Chris Truehl. His wrister went high to the glove side for his 11th of the season just 48 seconds into the period. Nine minutes later, the Colonials went on the power play and took a two-goal lead. RMU controlled a bouncing puck and sent it across to a wide open Scott Jacklin who scored his seventh of the season at 9:39 of the second period. Two minutes later, Air Force turned the puck over in its own end and the Colonials pounced. Colin South sent the puck toward the front of the net that led to a flurry at the top of the crease. David Friedmann tallied his second of the series and seventh of the season at the 11:41 mark. His goal gave the Colonials a 4-1 lead.
Midway through the third period, Air Force scored as McKenzie took a shot from the left side that was saved, but Ben Persian put back the rebound for his first of the season at the 12:02 mark. Coming out of a media timeout, Air Force pulled goaltender Chris Truehl for the extra attacker. The move paid off for the Falcons as Chad Demersscored his 11th of the season at 16:43. McKenzie made a centering pass to Demers in the slot who cut the Colonial lead to 4-3 with an extra-attacker goal with 3:17 remaining. Later in the period, Truehl came back off the ice and Air Force had a couple chances. However, Colonial forward Brandon Denham scored an empty-netter with 27 seconds left to make up the final margin.
Each team had 36 shots on goal in the game. AFA was 1-for-3 on the power play while RMU was 1-for-5. Truehl made 31 saves in the game for the Falcons, Terry Shafer made 33 saves for the Colonials.
"The better team won both nights, they were clearly better in every facet of the game," head coach Frank Serratore said. "We won one period the entire weekend and it was the last period. We didn't handle them very well. We didn't play very well defensively and didn't handle the physicality of the game either. We weren't very good, but they had a lot to do with it. They had a lot of energy and they were on a mission this weekend. They were a very determined team and they got it done. We got what we deserved this weekend and Robert Morris got what it deserved."
Air Force returns home to begin a four-game home stand. The Falcons host the UConn Huskies on Friday-Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.