Air Force upsets Providence for first in-season tournament title since 2004
HANOVER, N.H. -- Three Falcons scored and Jason Torf made 29 saves as Air Force beat fifth-ranked Providence 3-2 on Monday in the championship game of the Ledyard Bank Classic at Dartmouth's Thompson Arena. The Falcons won a regular-season tournament for the first time since the 2004 RPI Thanksgiving tournament.
Air Force improves to 9-5-4 overall while Providence falls to 13-3-3. Air Force extended its unbeaten streak to five games while ending Providence's six-game unbeaten streak. The win marked the sixth time in the past seven years that Air Force defeated a top-five team, the first since beating Colorado College in 2011.
Late in the first period, Falcon sophomore Ben Carey drew a penalty and the Falcons converted. On the rush, Cole Gunner sent a pass down low to Chad Demers who was camped by the left post. Just as Demers was being hit, he redirected the puck through the legs of Nick Ellis for a 1-0 lead at 17:25.
After killing three Providence power plays in the second period, including 36 seconds of a five-on-three, Air Force took a 2-0 lead. Mitch Torrel picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and roared down the right wing. His wrister from the dot beat Ellis high glove side for his third goal of the tournament and fifth of the season.
Providence looked like a different team in the third period and outshot Air Force 19-3. The Friars got on the board at the 4:57 mark of the third when Steven Shamanski scored from Kyle McKenzie. The Friars continued to carry much of the play in the third period, but the Falcons were able to regain its two-goal lead. A.J. Reid skated the puck past the blue line and hit George Michalke III down low. Michalke touched it to Tony Thomas who netted his fifth of the season from the slot.
No. 8 Quinnipiac 3, Sacred Heart 0
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Quinnipiac captured the 2013 UConn Hockey Classic Championship with a 3-0 win against Sacred Heart at the XL Center. Quinnipiac improves to 14-3-4 on the year while Sacred Heart drops to 5-13-0 overall. The Bobcats also captured their second UConn Classic Championship, after winning the tournament in 2008.
Quinnipiac had three players honored on the all-tournament team, headlined by freshman Tim Clifton, who was the only player in the Classic to score in both games he played. Kellen Jones, with a goal and an assist in two games, and Jordan Samuels-Thomas, with two assists in Monday night's win, were also honored.
Bryce Van Brabant gave Quinnipiac a 1-0 lead with his sixth goal of the season. Seconds after Sacred Heart was whistled for a penalty, Quinnipiac capitalized on its first power play of the game. Zach Tolkinen (fired a shot from the point that was knocked down in front of the crease. Jordan Samuels-Thomas tipped the puck loose across the goal mouth where Van Brabant, crashing the net, was able to push the puck past Pioneers goalie Alex Vazzano.
Tim Clifton picked up his second goal in as many nights when he cleaned up a rebound in front of Vazzano and banged the puck home to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead. Sam Anas started the play when he stick-handled through the Sacred Heart defense before flipped a back-hand pass to Dan Federico above the face-off circle to the left of Vazzano. Sacred Heart's goalie was able to stop the initial pass but Clifton took control of the puck just above the crease before sliding it past Vazzano to give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead.
Quinnipiac took a 3-0 lead halfway through the second period when Connor Jones scored on the power play. Samuels-Thomas carried the puck to the top of the Sacred Heart zone where he sent the puck to the opposite point to Kellen Jones. Kellen fired a cross-ice pass to Connor at the goalline to the left of Vazzano, who one-timed a shot top-shelf to give the Bobcats a three-goal lead while Samuels-Thomas picked up his second point of the night.