Air Force wins fourth AHA Championship in last five years with 1-0 win over RIT
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Jason Torf made 40 saves and Jacques Lamoureux scored the only goal as Air Force beat RIT, 1-0, in the Atlantic Hockey Association championship game, Saturday, March 19, at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. Air Force earned its fourth AHA championship in the last five years and advances to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history. Air Force will be one of 16 teams in the NCAA Tournament and will be placed at either Bridgeport, Conn., Manchester, N.H., St. Louis, Mo., or Green Bay, Wisc the weekend of March 25-27. The NCAA Selection Show is Sunday, March 19 at 9:30 a.m. MT on ESPN 2.
Air Force improved to 20-11-6 overall while RIT fell to 19-11-8.
In a scoreless first period, Falcon freshman goaltender Jason Torf made 14 saves as the Falcons were outshot, 14-8. Air Force killed two RIT power plays in the first half of the second period as Torf again made numerous saves. The Falcons opened the scoring at the 13:41 mark of the second period with a power-play goal. Tim Kirby went coast-to-coast and cut right in front of RIT goalie Shane Madolora. The puck was poked away but Lamoureux was there for his third of the weekend and 24th of the season. Torf picked up his first career assist on the play. Torf made 13 saves in the third period to preserve the shutout. RIT pulled its goalie with 68 seconds left but were unable to get the equalizer.
Torf tied his career high with 40 saves as he earned his second shutout of the season and second of the playoffs. He has allowed just two goals in his last three games. Madolora made 23 saves for the Tigers. RIT outshot Air Force, 40-24, in the game. AFA was 1-for-4 on the power play while RIT was 0-for-4.
Four Falcons were named to the all-tournament team. Lamoureux, who scored three goals in the two games, was the tournament MVP and was joined on the team by UConn’s Cole Schneider and RIT’s Sean Murphy. The two defensemen on the all-tournament team were both from Air Force, Tim Kirby and Scott Mathis. Kirby had an assist tonight and Mathis had a goal last night.Torf was the goaltender on the team as he made 68 saves in two games.
“This was a great playoff game,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “There were two very courageous games that we played against a very tough opponent. Let’s not forget that at one point this season we were 0-4. We have a great team in the true sense of the word team. In 2009, we were supposed to win and when we did it was a relief. This one was pure gratification because nobody besides our guys thought we could win it. You have to earn these kinds of wins and these guys did. When you get here, you have to make the most of it, because you never know if and when you will get back.”