Falcons travel to Bemidji State
Dec. 30, 2003
This Week: Air Force (7-9-2, 1-4-1 CHA) returns to CHA play with a two-game series against Bemidji State (8-6-2, 5-1 CHA). The Falcons and Beavers play Friday-Saturday, Jan. 2-3, at 7:35 p.m. each night. Friday's game is in Bemidji, Minn., while Saturday's game will be played in Coleraine, Minn.
Brotherly Competition in Coleraine: Saturday's game against Air Force and Bemidji State will be played at the Hodgins-Berardo Arena in Coleraine, Minn. Air Force head coach Frank Serratore, and his younger brother Tom, are graduates of Greenway High School in Coleraine on the "Iron Range".
Series Records: Air Force and Bemidji State have played 18 times and the Beavers hold an 11-5-2 lead in the series that began in 1997. Six of the 18 games have gone into overtime.BSU has a four-game winning streak and a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Falcons. Air Force's last win was a 5-4 overtime victory in Bemidji. In Bemidji, BSU has a 7-1-2 record against the Falcons.
Scouting the Opponents: Bemidji State (Bemidji, Minn.) is a charter member of College Hockey America. The Beavers are 8-6-2 overall and are in second place in the CHA with 5-1-0 record. BSU has won four of its last five games and are 3-2-2 this season at home. Earlier in the season, BSU tied Minnesota State-Mankato and beat then-No. 14 Minnesota-Duluth and Merrimack. The Beavers will be without preseason all-CHA center Andrew Murray who suffered a broken ankle against Wayne State, Dec. 5. Murray had three goals and 11 points in 13 games. Junior forward Brendan Cook leads the team with 10 goals and 16 points. Senior Grady Hunt has played in 10 games and has a 2.72 goals-against average and a .881 saves percentage. BSU has been outshooting its opponents by an average of 39-23. Tom Serratore is in his fourth season with the Beavers and has a 34-38-15 record.
The Serratore Showdown: Frank and Tom Serratore are one of just two combinations in any Division I sport where family members coach against each other in the same sport in the same conference. Florida Statešs Bobby Bowden and his son Tommy, head football coach at Clemson, coach against each other in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Since becoming BSUšs head coach for the 2001-02 season, the younger Serratore has led the Beavers to a 6-0-1 record against his older brother Frank and the Falcons.
Last Time vs. the Beavers: Bemidji State swept Air Force in a pair of shutout victories at the Cadet Ice Arena, March 7-8, 2003. BSU won the first game, 5-0 and then earned the sweep with a 2-0 win in the regular-season finale. In the first game, the Beavers scored two goals in the first period and three in the third. Marty Goulet and Riley Riddell each scored two goals and Grady Hunt stopped all 31 shots he faced. BSU had 27 shots in the game. In the second game, Bryce Methven scored in the first period and Travis Barnes scored an empty-netter with 20 seconds remaining. AFA again outshot BSU, 34-30, but Beaver Dannie Morgan made all 34 stops.
Last Time in Bemidji: Bemidji State won a pair of two-goal games, Jan. 24-25, 2003. The Beavers won the first game, 4-2 and the second game, 5-3. Ryan Wiggins and Andy Berg scored in the first game and the game was tied at 2-2 in the second period. Myles Kuharski's goal late in the second period was the gamewinner and Riley Riddell scored an empty-netter with 26 seconds left. In the second game, the score was tied at 3-3 after two periods, but the Beavers scored two in the third for the win. Wiggins, Shane Saum and Scott Zwiers scored the Falcons. Jeff McGill and Andrew Murray scored in the third period for the Beaver win. Grady Hunt made 24 saves in each game for BSU. Mike Polidor made 38 saves in the first game and David Goodley made 35 in the second game.
Falcons in Tournaments: In the last three years, the Falcons have won three tournaments and played in the championship game of two others. Earlier this season, the Falcons placed second in the Quinnipiac Cup, Oct. 10-11, in Northford, Conn. AFA lost to Quinnipiac, 4-3 in overtime. The Falcons also placed second in the UConn Classic, losing to UConn, 1-0, in the championship game. Air Force won its own Radisson North Classic in 2001 and 2002. In 2001, the Falcons won the UConn Tournament, the first ever Division I tournament championship and the first ever road tourney title. In the history of Falcon hockey, Air Force has played in the championship game of six Division I tournaments. Five of those have come under Serratore in the last four seasons. AFA placed second in the UMass-Lowell tournament in 1999-00 and in the Q-Cup Tourney in 2000-01. Air Force is 23-64-1 all-time in regular-season tournaments. Under Serratore, the Falcons are 15-16-1 in regular-season tournaments. AFA is 4-7 in post-season tournaments. AFA was 1-1 in the 1992 Independent's Tournament. The Falcons are 3-6 in the four-year history of the CHA Tournament.
P2K: Senior goaltender Mike Polidor is a three-year starter and is closing in on 2,000 career saves. He entered the season with 1,603 saves and has 386 this season for a total of 1,989. He could become the ninth Falcon goaltender to reach 2,000 saves and the first since Marc Kielkucki in 1998-01. Among players who have played more than 50 games, Polidor ranks third in career saves percentage with .885 and is second in career goals against average with a 3.52.
On Deck: Following the Bemidji State series, the Falcons return home for a two-game CHA series with Wayne State. The Falcons and Warriors play Thursday and Saturday, Jan. 8-10, at 7:05 p.m. MST at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Last Week: Air Force placed second in the 11th annual UConn Hockey Classic, Dec. 28-29, in Storrs, Conn. The Falcons tied Sacred Heart, 2-2, in overtime in the first round but advanced to the title game by winning the shootout. UConn defeated the Falcons, 1-0, in the championship game.
Tournament Notes: UConn goalie Scott Tomes, who shutout the Falcons in the championship game, was named the tournament MVP. AFA forward Theo Zacour and defenseman Brooks Turnquist were named to the all-tournament team. Bentley won the consolation game with a 3-2 win over Sacred Heart. UConn and Bentley were 1-0-1 in the tourney while Air Force and Sacred Heart were 0-1-1.