Men's Hockey Falls to Air Force, 3-1
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Freshman forward Ricky DeRosa (Aston, Pa.) scored a goal in his first collegiate game, but the Penn State men's hockey team surrendered three third-period markers in a 3-1 setback against Air Force at Cadet Ice Arena Saturday night. With the loss, Penn State fell to 1-2-0, while Air Force evened its record at 2-2-0.
George Michalke (2g) and Cole Gunner gave the Falcons a three-goal lead in the third period before DeRosa scored with 2:46 left in the game. Sophomore Matthew Skoff (McKees Rocks, Pa.) corralled 32 shots for Penn State, while Air Force netminder Jason Torf made 33 saves. Air Force out shot Penn State, 35-34, and went 0-for-2 on the power play. The Nittany Lions finished 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Air Force out shot the Nittany Lions by a 15-12 margin in a scoreless first period. Sophomores Casey Bailey (Anchorage, Alaska) and Kenny Brooks (Las Vegas, Nev.) paced Penn State with a pair of shots each as PSU peppered Torf throughout the frame. On the other end, the Falcons best opportunity occurred with less than two minutes remaining when Gunner's breakaway attempt sailed wide.
Penn State dominated the second period, outshooting Air Force, 15-10, but neither team reached the back of the net. The Nittany Lions generated several quality chances throughout the frame, beginning with DeRosa's attempt from the right circle around the 16-minute mark. Later in the frame, senior Michael McDonagh (Wilmington, Mass.) was robbed on a rebound attempt, while Bailey's laser from the slot with less than four minutes remaining was turned aside.
In the third period, Air Force broke the tie with a shorthanded marker at 6:44 of the frame. With Penn State controlling the puck in its offensive zone, a Falcon dove to intercept a Nittany Lion pass, sending the puck down the length of the ice. Ryan Timar won the battle into the corner and fed a wide-open Michalke in front of the net, where he backhanded a shot past Skoff.
The Falcons doubled their advantage with 10:23 left in the frame. From the right circle, Chad Demers fed Gunner in the high slot, where he one-timed a shot for the 2-0 lead. Alex Halloran also collected an assist on the play.
With 3:19 left to play, Michalke gave Air Force a 3-0 advantage. Skoff kicked aside Tony Thomas' shot from the left-wing boards, but Michalke pounced on the rebound to give the Falcons the three-goal lead.
Just 33 seconds later and with Skoff pulled for an extra attacker, DeRosa netted the Nittany Lions' lone goal. Defenseman Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ont.) moved the puck to forward Tommy Olczyk (Long Grove, Ill.), who fed DeRosa streaking up the ice. As the Aston, Pa, native moved around the net, his centering feed deflected off an Air Force defenseman and into the net to account for the 3-1 final.
Penn State will return to action Friday, Oct. 25 when it hosts RIT at Pegula Ice Arena for a 7 p.m. faceoff. Following their matchup with the Tigers, the Nittany Lions will face off against Vermont at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center Saturday, Oct. 26. Opening faceoff for the second annual Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff is set at 5 p.m.