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Nov. 9, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior forward Justin Kirchhevel (Brookings, S.D.) scored the program's first-ever shorthanded marker to make it a two-goal game, but the Penn State men's hockey team fell to Air Force, 5-1, at Greenberg Ice Pavilion Friday night. The Nittany Lions, who saw their four-game win streak snapped, dropped to 5-3-0.
Air Force scored once in the first period and twice in the second stanza to take a 3-0 lead before Kirchhevel's tally at 8:25 of the third brought the Nittany Lions to within two. The Falcons added power-play and empty-net tallies late in the third to account for the 5-1 final.
Penn State outshot the Falcons by a 35-24 margin and finished 0-for-6 on the power play. Air Force, which improved to 3-3-3, was 1-for-3 on the man advantage. Sophomore goaltender PJ Musico (Orange, Calif.) made 19 stops, while Air Force netminder Jason Torf corralled 34 shots.
The Falcons grabbed a 1-0 lead with 12:03 left in the first period. Forward Casey Kleisinger collected Max Hartner's pass and skated into the Penn State defensive zone. He then brought the puck toward the middle of the ice as traffic developed in front before sending a shot low for the goal.
Kyle DeLaurell extended the lead at 7:50 of the second period. From the right circle, Cole Gunner connected with DeLaurell on a tic-tac-toe play. Ben Carey also registered an assist on the play.
With 5:03 left in the period, Chad Demers capitalized on a Penn State turnover to give the Falcons the three-goal lead. John Kruse and Thomas garnered assists on the tally.
With 11:35 left in the game, Kirchhevel broke Torf's shutout bid with the shorthanded marker. The Brookings, S.D., native picked up a loose puck, raced down the ice on a breakaway and fired a shot high to the glove side.
Air Force's Stephen Carew tallied a power-play marker 58 seconds later before Thomas added an empty-netter with 3:28 remaining to make it 5-1.
Penn State and Air Force will conclude their two-game series Saturday, Nov. 10. Opening faceoff is set at 7:30 p.m.