No. 12 Lehigh Grounded by Air Force in Frontier Face-Off Classic

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - No. 12 Lehigh wrapped up a tough trip to Colorado on Sunday with a 15-10 defeat against a surging Air Force squad. Part of the Frontier Airlines Face-Off Classic, the game was delayed and moved from the University of Denver to Air Force's indoor facility due to a snowstorm Saturday night into Sunday.

Sophomore Dan Taylor led the way with a career-high five points while seniors Dante Fantoni and David DiMaria posted four points apiece. Lehigh will look to bounce back on Saturday when it returns home to host VMI at 2:30 p.m.

"Give credit to Air Force. They handled the adversity of the day much better than we did," said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. "When it finally came down to game time, they outplayed us in just about every way possible. They deserved to win the game."

Fantoni finished with three goals and an assist for his 16th career hat trick. DiMaria added two goals and two assists and already has 22 points through four games this season. A day after posting a career-high three goals and four points, Taylor had a career-high five points behind two goals and a career-high three assists. Sophomore Patrick Corbett added two goals for his first multi-goal game of the season (and seventh of his career) while classmate Kurtis Kaunas scored for the second straight day.

Taylor gave Lehigh an early 1-0 lead less than two minutes in before the teams traded goals, going back and forth through the beginning stages of the second. The teams were tied at two, three, four and five before Air Force scored two straight to go up 7-5 with 8:00 left in the second quarter. With the Falcons leading 9-6, Taylor scored a big goal with just six seconds left in the first half to pull the Mountain Hawks within two at the half.

Air Force regained a three-goal advantage early in the third quarter, but Lehigh fought back to within 10-8 then 11-9, but the Falcons' Mike Crampton made it 12-9 with just 40 seconds left in the third quarter.

Corbett pulled the Mountain Hawks closer at 8:54 of the fourth, but that's the closest they would get as Air Force scored three insurance goals for the 15-10 victory.

Final shots were even at 36 while Air Force held a 33-28 advantage in groundballs. Senior Ryan Snyder and junior Ryan Buttenbaum combined to win 12 of 28 faceoffs. The Mountain Hawks were 2 for 3 on the extra man while the Falcons finished 0 for 4. Freshman goalie Steve Brodeur started and made four saves before being relieved by senior Griffin Farha, who stopped six of 12 the rest of the way. Air Force netminder Austin Fox was strong, making 14 saves.

The Mountain Hawks return home to host VMI on Saturday. Faceoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

* * * *

USAFA, Colo. Juniors Tommy McKee (Holt, Mich.) and Mike Crampton (Kinnelon, N.J.) anchored the Falcons' offense as Air Force knocked off 12th-ranked Lehigh, 15-10, Sunday afternoon in the Frontier Airlines Face-Off Classic, being played at the Holaday Athletic Center.

Both teams had to battle a bit of adversity before the contest even started. The tournament, hosted by the University of Denver, underwent a venue change on Sunday due to inclement weather in the area, moving down to the Air Force Academy, just north of Colorado Springs. Originally slated for an 11:00 a.m. face-off, action for the day's first game did not start until 1:40 p.m.

Lehigh (2-2) struck first, getting on the board two minutes into the contest, but freshmen Christopher Allen (Hillsborough, N.J.) and Alex Warden (Glen Mills, Pa.) responded with back-to-back scores to give Air Force a 2-1 advantage at the 10:32 mark. The teams traded goals throughout the remainder of the first period, with Allen tallying his second goal with just 12 seconds on the clock, as Air Force took a 4-3 lead into the second quarter.

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2013-02-24



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