Air Force Takes Radisson Title


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Ryan Wiggins scored two goals, including an empty-netter in the final 40 seconds, to lead Air Force to a 4-2 win over Augsburg in the championship game of the fifth annual Radisson North Hockey Classic Saturday at the Academy’s Cadet Ice Arena.

Air Force improved to 7-9 overall while Augsburg fell to 7-4.

After a scoreless first period, Wiggins scored 29 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal from Steve Mead and Brian Reaney. Mead took a shot from the point and Wiggins netted the rebound. Midway through the period, Cesky tied the game with his second goal of the tournament. Shawn Smith’s shot was wide, but Cesky collected the puck in the slot and beat Falcon tender Mike Polidor.

Air Force then scored two goals in a 38-second span for a 3-1 advantage. Scott Zwiers won a faceoff and Berg buried a slapshot for his 15th goal of the season at the 11:13 mark of the second period. Spanky Leonard netted the eventual game-winner at 11:51 from Matt Bader. With great hustle, Bader chased down a loose puck in the corner and found Leonard in the slot for his fourth goal of the season.

Cesky brought the Auggies within one goal at the 12:57 mark of the third period. After picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone, he skated down the left wing and scored on a slapshot low, short side.

Augsburg pulled its goaltender with 35 seconds remaining and Wiggins scored an empty-netter from Justin Hamilton and Brian Reaney with 26 seconds left.

Air Force outshot Augsburg, 43-25, in the game and had a 35-19 advantage after two periods. The Falcons were 1-for-3 on the power play while Augsburg was 0-for-4. Augsburg goaltender Erik Young made 39 saves while Polidor made 23 for the Falcons.

Air Force won its own tournament for the third time in its five-year history and improved to 8-2 all-time in the tournament.

Berg, the Falcons’ senior center and captain, was named the tournament’s most valuable player. He had two goals and an assist in Friday’s win over Wisconsin-Stout and added a goal in the win over Augsburg.

Zwiers (forward), Reaney (defenseman) and Polidor (goalie) were joined on the all-tournament team by Cesky (forward), Wisconsin-Stout forward Derek Nicholls and Augsburg defenseman Steve Belde.