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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Page nets overtime game-winner for AFA


Page nets overtime game-winner in 3-2 win over Bentley

WATERTOWN Mass. – Blake Page scored the game-winning goal 13 seconds into overtime as Air Force came from behind to beat Bentley, 3-2, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Thursday, Dec. 30, at the John A. Ryan Arena in Watertown, Mass. Air Force battled back from a 2-0 deficit to improve to 7-7-2 overall and 5-3-2 in the AHA. Bentley fell to 5-9-2 overall and 4-6-1 in the league.

After a scoreless first period, Bentley scored the first goal of the game in the second. Air Force outshot Bentley, 19-10, in the second period, but it was Bentley that took the lead. At the 13:46 mark, Ryan Kayfes made a centering pass from the left boards and Joe Campanelli tipped it in over the glove of Falcon goaltender Jason Torf. Air Force had several quality chances that were turned away by Bentley goalie Joe Calvi.

Bentley took a 2-0 lead early in the third period when Dan Koudys scored on a rebound at 4:05. Air Force finally got on the board with 7:30 remaining in the third when Tim Kirby put back a rebound of a Scott Mathis shot. With a 2:48 left in the period, a cross-checking penalty was called on Air Force’s Ryan Timar, putting Bentley on a power play. Then, with 2:20 left in the third, a scuffle broke out in front of the Bentley net and one Air Force player and two Bentley players were sent to the penalty box. The penalties left the teams in a four-on-four situation. However, trailing, 2-1, Air Force coach Frank Serratore pulled the goalie in favor of the extra skater and a 5-on-4 opportunity. It took just 13 seconds before Derrick Burnett tied the game at 2-2 with his third of the season from right in front of the goal. The teams went into overtime and it again took just 13 seconds for the Falcons to score. The Falcons won the ensuing faceoff and Scott Mathis took a shot that saved. Page put back the rebound on the weak side for his fifth of the season and first game-winner.

Air Force outshot Bentley, 35-31, in the game. Torf made 29 saves for Air Force while Calvi made 32 for Bentley. AFA was 0-for-5 on the power play while Bentley was 0-for-3.

“I am real proud of the guys, ” Serratore said. “These guys just don’t quit. They stay with it and they are the epitome of a team that says ‘it’s never over till it’s over’. We couldn’t get a bounce in the game. We stuck with it and then finally something went our way. ”

The same two teams conclude the two-game league series on Friday, Dec. 31, at 5:05 p. m. at the John A. Ryan Arena in Watertown, Mass.

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