Mercyhurst rallies to tie third-place AFA 2-2

airforce-kruseERIE, Pa. –  Air Force senior Kyle De Laurell scored two power play goals as the Falcons and Mercyhurst skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Pa. With the tie, Air Force (12-10-7, 10-6-5 AHA) remains in third place in the AHA with 25 points, one point behind second-place Mercyhurst (14-11-3, 12-7-2 AHA).

Mercyhurst opened the scoring at the 15:31 mark of the first period on the rush. The Lakers won a faceoff in their own end and defenseman Anthony Mastrodicasa sent the puck up the wall to Chris Bodo. Bodo skated down the right side and scored his 13th of the season with a wrister from the right circle.

Late in the second period, a too many men on the ice penalty on Mercyhurst gave the Falcons a power play. Just over a minute into the power play, the Falcons started the rush in their own end. Ben Carey gave the puck to Stephen Carew who skated through traffic and into the zone. Carew sent the puck to the left side and Kyle De Laurell tied the game at the 14:01 mark.

Air Force took its first lead of the game late in the third period with its second power-play goal of the game. Adam McKenzie sent the puck down low to John Kruse who chipped it to De Laurell in the left circle. De Laurell spun around and fired a shot that beat Max Strang for his second of the game and team-leading 13th of the season. However, less than two minutes later, the Lakers tied the game.

Defenseman Nick Jones fired a wrister from the slot with 2:26 left to tie the score at 2-2.

In overtime, Air Force outshot Mercyhurst, 3-1. With 20 seconds left in the game, Ryan Timar took a shot that rang off the cross bar and the game ended in 2-2 overtime tie.

Air Force outshot Mercyhurst, 37-28, in the game. Mercyhurst was 0-for-3 on the power play while Air Force was 2-for-4. Jason Torf made 26 saves for the Falcons while Max Strang made 35 for the Lakers.

“We played a really strong game and strong series this weekend,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “Mercyhurst is a good hockey team. It was so disappointing when they scored that second goal to tie the game. But, give them credit, they needed to get that goal and they got it. The bottom line is that we came into the building of the hottest team in the league and took three points. This team showed their resilience as we had to come back in both games. I like the direction this team is going.”

Air Force returns home to host a two-game series with Canisius, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at the Cadet Ice Arena.


About paisleyhockey
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports with 25-plus years of experience.

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