Bellarmine University pushed No. 14 Air Force to the limit but fell 8-7 in overtime as the Falcons’ Christopher Allen notched the game-winner 47 seconds into the extra frame in a Southern Conference game at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The host Knights came out and established a 3-0 lead before Air Force scored with 3:32 in the second period to make the score 3-1 at halftime.
The Falcons came out in the second half and chalked up four unanswered goals to grab a 5-3 lead at the 12:16 mark of the fourth quarter. However, the Knights erased that deficit in less than 30 seconds of game time as Connor Harryman and Taylor Stuart registered goals for Bellarmine off the next two faceoffs.
Again, Air Force built a two-goal lead, and again the Knights fought back to tie it. Bellarmine’s final goal came with just 2:19 remaining as Brogan Hill converted a pass from Brian Wall on a play that was described by Bellarmine Coach Kevin Burns as “the prettiest goal since I’ve been at Bellarmine.”
In the overtime period, the Falcons won the faceoff on a procedure call and then called a timeout to set up strategy before Allen connected on the game-winner.
“We’ve gotten better the past two games, even though we didn’t win them,” Burns said. “We talked about this in the locker room after the game. You want to be playing your best at the end of the season, and I think we are getting there.”
Burns added there were several bright spots in today’s game. He pointed to freshman goalie Max Cartor, who made his first career start against a nationally ranked opponent due to an illness to Chase Rose, who started the first nine games of the season. “Max came in and did a terrific job,” Burns said. “I thought (Tucker) Ciessau played well as did the defense.”
Cartor tallied 10 saves in the game, and Ciessau led the Knights’ scoring attack with a pair of goals while Jack Perkins totaled two points with a goal and an assist.
Air Force got two goals apiece from Allen and Danny Brown with Nick Hruby, Andrew Tien and Austin Smith adding two points each as all three players recorded a goal and an assist.
Bellarmine falls to 4-6 overall and slips to 1-2 in SoCon play. The Falcons, who picked up their third overtime win this season, win their ninth in a row and now stand at 9-2 with a 3-0 mark in Southern Conference play.
The Knights are back in action a week from today when they travel to High Point, North Carolina to take on the Panthers in another conference game. Faceoff is scheduled for noon.