When a team plays Air Force in the NCAA tournament, it better not let the defensive-minded Falcons score first. That happened in the second period when Tyler Ledford scored two goals in a span of 3 minutes, 33 seconds. From there, goalie Billy Christopoulos took over, by keeping St. Cloud State off the scoreboard until 2:51 remained.

STAR TRIBUNE'S THREE STARS

1. Billy Christopoulos, Air Force: The goalie, affectionately nicknamed “Billy the Greek’’ by coach Frank Serratore, made 39 saves to secure the upset.

2. Tyler Ledford, Air Force: The top-line senior center and alternate captain scored two second-period goals.

3. Erik Baskin, Air Force: The senior forward and alternate captain from Minnetonka had an assist and was a plus-3.

THE QUOTE

“You can’t play this game with your eyes in the rear-view mirror, thinking about making a mistake. It’s safe to say you can play free knowing that if something happens and you get a bad bounce, Billy’s going to be there for you.’’ – Frank Serratore, Air Force coach, on his goalie.

RANDY JOHNSON