Lamoureux the Hero Again For Air Force
by Becky Ebert/CHN Reporter
ROCHESTER, N.Y. Air Force will make its fourth appearance in the Atlantic Hockey championship game in the last five years, thanks to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Holy Cross in the Atlantic Hockey semifinals Friday.
The game had everything you want in the playoffs, and the battle-tested Falcons prevailed.
“That was a playoff game. There was nothing easy about that game. That team was extremely difficult to play against,” said Air Force coach Frank Serratore. “I feel very fortunate to win that game, not because our guys didn’t deserve it, just because that’s a game that could have gone either way.”
In the end, it came down to Air Force's usual heroes, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win.
Air Force's leading goal scorer, Jacques Lamoureux, couldn't be held down the whole game. He finally busted through with 10 minutes left, making it 2-2.
“We had a lot of pressure on them in the offensive zone there. Kyle was able to get the puck around the net and Derek went to the net,” said Lamoureux. “Derek made a great backhand pass and I just put it on net quick. It squeaked through the legs. I didn’t even notice it went in right away”
The Falcons seemed to find their legs following the tying goal and continued to pressure the net. To no one’s surprise, it was Lamoureux who would score the winning goal of the game.
“He just beat me. It was a good shot, good place. It went by my hip and I couldn’t get enough of it,” said Holy Cross goalie Adam Roy.
With 4:16 remaining in the game, Holy Cross made desperate attempts to score, but it was the Air Force defense that shut them down.
In a last-ditch effort, the Crusaders took a timeout with 49.3 seconds left in the game. Roy made it to the bench for the extra attacker, but the Falcons held on for the win.
“I thought it was well played, solid game by both teams, obviously them a little more than us. I was very impressed with the pace of the game,” said Holy Cross head coach Paul Pearl. “Right from the very drop both teams were going at each other pretty good. Positively, we were able to limit their rush offense. Negatively, we gave them a couple shots in real good areas that you just can’t do.”
Although they only recorded four shots on net during the first period, it was the Falcons who broke the scoreless game. Falcons junior defenseman, Scott Mathis, scored his eighth goal of the year with 4:21 remaining in the period. On a pass along the wall from Kozlak, Mathis shot the puck on the Crusaders’ goaltender, Adam Roy, who ultimately kicked the puck into his own net with his skate.
“First period didn’t go exactly as we planned. We played hard and they got a goal, but we’ve been battling through adversity all year, so I don’t think anybody was down about it,” said Roy.
Holy Cross ended the Air Force lead on a pretty goal from forward Shane Stockton at the 14:50 mark. Stockton wristed the puck top shelf, above the shoulder of Falcons’ goalie Jason Torf, on a back pass from Air Force captain Sheen Everett.
Following the tying goal, Roy was quickly tested as Air Force went full speed ahead. Falcons forward John Kruse came in on a breakaway, seemingly with the advantage, but Roy came up big with a pad save.
Holy Cross took its first lead of the game in the third period, putting pressure on the front of the net and giving sophomore right winger Erik Vos his eighth goal of the season.
“There was actually a first shot that got blocked and then another rebound that came to me. It was pretty wide open, it didn’t take much to put it in,” said Vos. “It was exhilarating. I thought it was a good boost at beginning of the period and exactly what we needed.”