Myles Kuharski scored the game winning goal and added an assist, Air Force had an apparent game-tying goal disallowed in the final minute of the third period, and Bemidji State went on to a 4-2 victory Friday night at John Glas Fieldhouse.
With BSU leading 3-2, Air Force pulled its goaltender for an extra skater. Andy Berg took a slapshot from the top of the circle and Ryan Wiggins tipped the shot between the legs of Beaver goalie Grady Hunt. However, the goal was disallowed and the Beavers clung to a one-goal lead.
It was the third straight game in which Air Force has had a tally removed.
With 26 seconds remaining, Wade Chiodo cleared a puck from the BSU zone and Riley Riddell outskated the Falcons to the puck at the AFA blue line. Riddell’s empty-net goal put the game out of reach.
“We haven’t had a bounce go our way in an awful long time,” Air Force head coach Frank Serratore said. “I am proud of the effort and our guys are playing hard and sticking together. This is a frustrated team, but eventually something good will happen.”
Late in the first period, Wiggins gave the Falcons the early lead with a rare even-strength goal at 16:56. Scott Zwiers won the faceoff in the offensive zone and Berg took a slapshot that was saved by Hunt. Wiggins was trailing the play and scored his 10th of the season.
Just three minutes later, the Beavers tied the score on the power play. Jeff McGill tipped in a shot by Anders Olsson with 37 seconds left in the period.
BSU got its first lead of the game at the 6:14 mark of the second period as Bryce Methven scored on the power play. Kuharski made the pass from the boards and Methven scored on the one-timer in the high slot.
That goal was the first of three in a span of 1:49. Air Force tied the score at 7:05 on Berg’s slapshot on the power play. Berg took a pass from Wiggins and netted his NCAA-leading 14th power-play goal of the season.
One minute later, Kuharski scored an unassisted goal at 8:03. After a Falcon turnover in their own zone, Kuharski scored his fifth on the season from the faceoff dot.
Bemidji State improved to 6-8-6 overall and 4-3-2 in the CHA. The Falcons fell to 8-16-1 overall and 2-8-1 in the CHA. Air Force’s winless skid reached eight games.
BSU is in third place in the CHA with 10 points while Air Force remains in a tie for fourth with five points.
BSU outshot Air Force in every period and 42-26 in the game. BSU was 2-for-5 on the power play while Air Force was 1-for-4. Polidor made 38 saves for the Falcons, his third-highest total of the season. Hunt made 24 for the Beavers.
The same two teams conclude the series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. CST in Bemidji.