Yale beats Air Force, 2-1 in OT

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Yale beats Air Force, 2-1 in OT

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - Chad Ziegler scored 3:16 into overtime to lift top-seeded Yale over No. 4 Air Force 2-1 on Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA tournament's east regional.

The Bulldogs (28-6-1) advance to play No. 3 University of Minnesota Duluth on Saturday at at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.

After a pair of saves by Air Force goalie Jason Torf, Ziegler dove and knocked in the loose puck to give the host team the win. Nick Jaskowiak assisted on the game winner.

"Coach was saying get to the net all game there were rebounds to be had," Ziegler said. "The goalie just froze there and I put it past the line. I was pretty happy about that."

Nick Jaskowiak (two assists) and Brendan Mason set up the play.

"They made a play, a second effort play and it went in," AFA coach Frank Serratore said. "Sometimes life isn't fair. It's not a juice box league. It's win or go home."

Yale took a 1-0 lead at 7:28 of the second period on a goal from Brian O'Neill, who deflected in a shot from Jaskowiak.

The Falcons (20-12-6) tied it at 18:34 of the period, with Sean Bertsch scoring unassisted on a wraparound goal.

AFA had three straight chances early in overtime, but Yale goalie Ryan Rondeau denied them. He finished with 22 stops.

"I thought it was a terrific playoff hockey game," said Yale coach Keith Allain, whose club suffered its first loss to Air Force earlier in the season. "We are pleased to be moving on and not have to play them again this year."

Torf made 26 saves for the Falcons. Yale is 1-1-1 in overtime games this season.

"Yale is the No. 1 team in the country for a reason they can win games like that," AFA captain Jacques Lamoureux said.

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

The Patriots and Raiders and neck-and-neck as the race for home field in the AFC turns for home. And, with four games left, the Raiders are ahead by a nose. The tiebreakers between the 10-2 teams in play currently? Common games followed by strength of victory. 

The first tiebreaker – conference record – is a deadlock as both teams are 7-1 in the AFC (the Brady-less Patriots lost to the Bills back in Week 4.

After conference record, it's the teams record in common games. 

PATRIOTS 26, RAMS 10

So far in common games with the Texans and Bills, the Patriots have gone 2-1 and the Raiders have gone 2-0. The Patriots play the Ravens next week. Oakland beat them. The Patriots play Denver after that. Oakland beat them as well but have one more game against Denver in Week 17.

So if it comes down to common games the Patriots really need to win these next two games.

Or hope the Raiders stub their toe a time or two in their final four games which are at the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos with a home game against Indy in Week 16.

As for strength of victory, that too goes to Oakland at this point. The Raiders’ strength of victory is at .471. The Patriots’ is at .370.

But the tiebreaker that kicks in after conference record and before strength of victory – common games – is very much unresolved.The remaining picture as it stands right now? The Ravens are the No. 3 seed with a 7-5 record that leads the AFC North. The Texans’ 6-6 record is good enough to lead the AFC South. The 9-3 Chiefs are the top Wild Card. The 8-4 Broncos are the No. 6 seed.

The Patriots play the Ravens and Broncos over the next two weeks. Currently, the Dolphins (7-5) and Steelers (7-5) are on the outside looking in.

The Titans (6-6) will have a chance to get even with the Texans in Week 17 in head-to-head matchups but they host Denver and play at Kansas City the next two weeks so they have obstacles to clear before they get there.