College Hockey: Air Force Flies By Army 4-2

by Corey Mansfield, BBM Managing Editor

Billy Christopoulos celebrates Brady Tomlak's game-winning goal (pc: Corey Mansfield)
West Point, NY - Air Force defeated Army West Point 4-2 at Tate Rink on Friday night in a battle of military academies.

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The Falcons got on the board first at 15:39 of the first period when Matt Koch ripped a shot, which was stopped by Army goalie Trevin Koslowski but the rebound was left out in front of the crease and Matt Pulver slammed it home to give Air Force a 1-0 lead. 

The Black Knights got even on a power play goal at 7:58 of the second period when Dominic Franco redirected a Zach Evancho shot past Air Force goalie Billy Christopoulos to make the score 1-1.

Air Force went back ahead 10 minutes later on a power play goal by Zack Mirageas. Mirageas got the puck at the top of the slot and slapped a laser past Koslwoski, beating the Army goalie stick-side to put the Falcons back ahead 2-1. 

Army got back even at 11:18 of the third period when Brendan Soucie came flying down the left wing and fed a pass across the crease to Trevor Fidler, who tapped in the goal to tie the game at 2-2. 

As the two teams battled in a physical game, it seemed as though the game was destined for overtime. However, that all changed when Brady Tomlak slammed home a rebound of a shot from Jake Levin at 17:12 of the third period to put the Falcons ahead for good at 3-2.

Army had a one last gasp to try and tie the game up but a Fidler hooking penalty with under minute left in the game negated the extra attacker they would have got by pulling their goalie.  Air Force took advantage when Trevor Stone picked up the puck at center ice, skated in over the blue line and slid home an empty net goal to make the score 4-2 with 23 seconds remaining in the game. 

Alex Mehnert had two assists on the night for the Falcons (3-4-0 overall, 3-2-0 in conference), while goalie Billy Christopoulos made 19 saves in the win for Air Force. Air Force was solid on the power play, converting on 2-of-3 opportunities. 

Koslowski stopped 25 shots in a losing effort for Army (4-3-1 overall, 3-1-1 in conference). The loss was the first of his collegiate career. 

The two teams will conclude their weekend series at Tate Rink Saturday at 8:05pm. 

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