COLORADO COLLEGE EDGED BY AIR FORCE, 2-1
Junior defenseman Mike Boivin scores goal for Tigers
By the time Colorado College shook off the cobwebs on Friday, it was too late.
Air Force, which showed up ready to play from the very outset, withstood a furious CC comeback bid in the third period and pulled off a 2-1 upset at a jam-packed World Arena.
Held to six shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes of play, when they surrendered a power-play tally to AFA senior defenseman and team captain Scott Mathis at the 8:32 mark, the No. 5-ranked Tigers lost to their in-town rival at the CSWA for the first time ever.
Senior netminder Stephen Caple, who was seldom tested through the first two frames, made 16 of his 33 saves in the third. The biggest came near the midway point of the period, with his team up 2-0, after junior right wing William Rapuzzi took a long pass from Gabe Guentzel and soloed in alone. Caple stood his ground and got a skate on Rapuzzi's attempt from in close, which then ricocheted off the post behind him.
"We weren't ready to play at the pace they were," said junior defenseman Mike Boivin, who scored CC's only goal on a one-timer from the right point with 12:10 left to play. "It took us up until late in the first (period), or even the second, to get our feet under us."
Trailing 1-0 late in the middle period, the Tigers were awarded their second of three power plays for the night as Air Force defenseman Adam McKenzie was whistled for interference. Instead of cashing in and tying the contest, however, Colorado College allowed sophomore right wing Casey Kleisinger to chase down a clearing pass near center ice, skate in untouched and give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
It was the seventh shorthanded goal allowed by CC this season, which ties for the national lead.
For Kleisinger, the son of Tigers volunteer goaltending coach Terry Kleisinger, the game winner was his six red lighter overall in 2011-12.
"We got what we deserved," said head coach Scott Owens. "It's a credit to them (the Falcons). They played hard and smart, and got the win. We had a great third period but it wasn't enough."
Colorado College finished with a 34-17 advantage in shots, with sophomore Josh Thorimbert steering aside 15 AFA attempts for the night including nine in the first period.
CC, which takes on 10th-ranked Union College of the ECAC on Saturday at the World Arena, dropped to 11-6 for the campaign while Air Force improved to 10-4-2.