Falcons host Army in two-game hockey series
Jan. 14, 2003
This Week: Air Force (8-13-1 overall and 2-7-1 CHA) hosts a two-game non-conference series vs. service academy rival Army (6-11 overall and 6-9 in the MAAC), Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18-19, at the Cadet Ice Arena. Faceoff is at 7:05 p.m. each night.
Radio/Television: Both games will be broadcast live in Colorado Springs on KBZC AM 1300. The pregame show begins 20 minutes prior to faceoff. Jay Ritchie, in his sixth season of Air Force hockey, will do the play-by-play. Jerry Butenhoff will handle the color commentary. No television.
Follow the Falcons Anywhere: Both games can be heard anywhere in the United States via the telephone. Falcon hockey radio broadcasts can be heard on TeamLine by dialing 1-800-846-4700. The team access code is 0671. This service is free of charge to listeners thanks to the Air Force Academy athletic department. Hockey games can also be listened to on the internet at www.AirForceSports.com. Go to the hockey page and click on Listen to the Falcons on the right side of the screen. The broadcast schedule for the remainder of the season is on page eight of this release.
Scouting the Opponents: Army (West Point, N.Y.) is 6-11 overall this season and 6-9 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The Black Knights are tied for fifth in the MAAC. Last week, Army was swept by Bentley, 4-3 and 5-1. Sophomore forwards Chris Casey and Chad Mayfield lead the team with 14 points. Freshman goaltender Brad Roberts has played all but 17 minutes in the net this season and has a 3.05 goals-against average and a .903 saves percentage. Rob Riley, in his 17th season at Army, has a school record of 233-265-30.
Series Records: Air Force and Army have played 32 times and the Falcons hold a 20-10-2 lead in the series that began in 1976. The teams played in 1976 and 1977 and then did not play until 1989. Since then, the two teams have played every year. Under Frank Serratore, the Falcons are 9-1-1 in the last five years. Serratore won his first four games before a 3-3 overtime tie at the Air Force in 1999. Army's only win in the last five years came at the Cadet Ice Arena in 2001 (5-2).
Common Opponents: Air Force and Army have played three common opponents, all from the MAAC. Air Force is 4-2 vs. Bentley, Fairfield and Holy Cross while Army is 1-4 vs. those teams. Air Force swept Bentley at home and split with Holy Cross and Fairfield on the road. Army lost three to Bentley and one to Holy Cross. Army defeated Fairfield, 3-1, on the road.
Last Season vs. Army: Air Force completed its third consecutive sweep at Army, defeating the Black Knights, 4-2 and 5-4. In the first game, Army took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Tim Murphy and Nathan Mayfield. The lead held until late in the second period when Andy Berg scored a power-play goal with 22 seconds left. Air Force scored three in the third period. Defenseman Joe Locallo tied the game at 7:58 and then Andy Berg scored the game-winner at 11:01. Locallo scored again at 14:30 and had three points in the game. In the second game, Air Force scored three in the first and took a 4-0 lead midway through the second period. Army came back to tie the score in the third period. Brian Reaney's power-play goal with 56 seconds remaining was the game-winner. Berg scored two goals for the Falcons in the first period. Reaney also had two goals in the game while Derek Olson had one. Scott Zwiers had four assists in the game and six in the series.
National Leaders: Andy Berg leads the nation with 12 power-play goals this season. He scored one against Niagara Saturday to break the tie with Tom Preissing from Colorado College. Berg is also tied for third in the nation with 18 goals and is tied for 13th in the nation with 31 points. Mike Polidor is sixth in the nation with 1,184 minutes played.
Power Play Among Nation's Best: Air Force ranks eighth in the nation in power-play percentage, scoring on 24.8 percent of its chances. The Falcons have scored a power-play goal in four straight games and in seven of the last eight. This season, Air Force has scored on the power play in 16 of the 22 games. The power play generates 41 percent of the team's offense (29 of the 68 goals this season), the highest percentage among team's ranked in the top 10. The other nine teams that rank in the top 10 in the nation in power play, average 34 percent of their goals on the power play. Colorado College leads the nation with power-play percentage of 35.0. The Air Force school record was set in 1994-95, 26.4 percent.
Last Week: Niagara swept a two-game, CHA series from Air Force at the Cadet Ice Arena by scores of 6-1 and 3-2.
On Deck: Following the Army series, Air Force travels to northern Minnesota for a two-game, College Hockey America series against Bemidji State, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25. Faceoff is at 6:35 p.m. on Friday and 6:05 p.m. on Saturday Mountain Time.
Sophomore defenseman Ross Miller