Carraro's Three Goals Help No. 8 Denver Escape Air Force

USAFA, Colo. A second-period scoring flurry by the visiting Pioneers proved to be the difference, as Air Force fell to eighth-ranked Denver, 11-8, in an ECAC match-up Saturday afternoon in Falcon Stadium. The Pioneers broke a 3-3 tie midway through the second period by tallying three goals in less than 30 seconds.

Sophomore Erik Smith (Golden, Colo.) led the Falcons with two goals and an assist, while senior captain Adam Paranka (Denver, Colo.) added a season-high two scores. For the Pioneers, Chase Carraro tallied three goals and an assist, while Eric Law registered a game-high four assists.

Denver (5-3, 1-1 ECAC) was first to get on the board in the game with a score from Eric Adamson at the 9:15 mark in the opening period, while the Falcons tied the contest with an unassisted score from Paranka. Air Force grabbed its first lead of the game with a goal by Tommy McKee (So., Holt, Mich.) with just under three minutes remaining in the quarter, but the Pioneers were able to find the back of the net once more, tying the game at 2-2 after one period.

The Pioneers regained their advantage in the first five minutes of the second quarter, but Mike Crampton (So., Kinnelon, N.J.) found the back of the net for the Falcons to knot the score with 9:24 on the clock. However, Denver followed with its quick three-goal spurt to take control. While Air Force scored once more in the period with a goal from Smith, the Pioneers closed out the half with two more goals to enter the locker room with an 8-4 advantage.

Twice in the third period, Air Force (3-4, 0-2) managed to cut the margin to two goals, but both times, Denver had a response. The Pioneers pushed their advantage back to four after registering back-to-back scores in the final two minutes of the third quarter.

In the final stanza, the Falcons were able to hold Denver scoreless, but only got on the board once, as Smith scored on an assist from Kyle Cassady (So., Upper Arlington, Ohio) with just over two minutes to play.

Stats across the board were fairly even between the two teams throughout the game, with Air Force holding a slight edge on face-offs, winning 13 of 24 draws. Sophomore Bryan Price (Denver, Colo.) led the Falcons at the X, winning 11 of 19 face-offs. In addition, the Falcons' man-down unit was stellar, holding the Pioneers scoreless on four extra-man opportunities.

The Falcons return to action on Tuesday, March 27, when they visit Jacksonville in a 7:00 p.m. (ET) contest at The Bolles School.

* * * *

USAFA, Colo. Behind a three-goal performance from junior midfielder Chase Carraro (Louisville, Ky.), University of Denver defeated the Air Force Falcons, 11-8 on Saturday afternoon at Falcon Stadium.

The Pioneers (5-3, 1-1 ECAC) gave up eight goals on 31 shots, as freshman Ryan LaPlante (Fort Collins, Colo.) recorded 12 saves in his second-career start in net. Air Force (3-4, 0-2 ECAC) controlled the face-offs (13 of 24) and kept it competitive in groundballs, splitting 25-25 with Denver, but could not stop the offensive production from the Crimson and Gold.

"A lot of credit needs to go to Air Force because they played us really tough today," said head coach Bill Tierney. "We did not play our best game out there today. We have a lot of things to work on as we head into the heart of our ECAC schedule."

Also scoring for Denver was junior Cameron Flint (Georgetown, Ontario), sophomore Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario) and freshman Wes Berg (Coquitlam, British Colombia) with two goals apiece. Senior Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario) and freshman Eric Adamson (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) both finished with a goal each, while Matthews also chipped in an assist.

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