Jan. 2, 2014
Air Force (9-5-4, 4-2-3 AHA) travels to Springfield, Mass., for a two-game Atlantic Hockey Association series against the American International College Yellow Jackets (3-12-0, 3-6-0), Friday-Saturday, Jan. 3-4, at 7:05 p.m. each night from the Olympia Ice Center.
All games will be broadcast in Colorado Springs on The Animal AM 1300 and on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com. Jay Ritchie will call the play-by-play. Dave Toller will be the color analyst. Pregame show begins 30 minutes before faceoff each day. All AHA games and all Air Force home games will be video streamed live on AmericaOne.com.
Head coach Frank Serratore is in his 17th season at Air Force with a record of 281-268-62 record (611 games). He is the winningest coach in the history of Air Force hockey, having led Air Force to five AHA championships and five NCAA Tournaments in the last seven years. In 21 seasons as a collegiate head coach, he has an overall record of 330-360-71 (761 games).
Defending the Home Ice
Air Force's six-game home unbeaten streak (5-0-1), the longest since the Falcons had a seven-game winning streak in the record-setting 2008-09 season, ended with a 4-2 loss to Bentley on Nov. 29. Air Force is 5-1-2 at home this season. Prior to going just 9-6-2 at home last season, AFA won 11 home games in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Air Force earned its first regular-season tournament title since 2004 by winning the Ledyard Bank Classic hosted by Dartmouth. Air Force defeated No. 16 Northeastern and No. 4 Providence to win the title.
Three Falcons earned honors at the Ledyard Bank Classic hosted by Dartmouth. Senior Mitch Torrel was named the MVP as he scored three goals in the tournament, including two in the win over Northeastern. Senior Jason Torf was the goaltender on the all-tournament team and a stopped 43 of the 47 shots he faced in earning the two wins. Junior right winger Cole Gunner was also named to the all-tournament team as he tallied two points (1-1-2).
Chad Demers leads the team with eight goals, 12 assists and 20 points. Demers has scored a point in 13 of the last 17 games. Demers is sixth in the AHA in all games in points (20) and goals (7) and fifth in assists (12). Cole Gunner is tied for second on the team with 12 assists and six goals. His 18 assists are second on the team. Gunner has scored in 13 of the last 17. Gunner is tied for fifth in the AHA in is eighth in the AHA in points. He is tied for second in the league with two game-winners in all games. Scott Holm is tied for seventh in the AHA with three power-play goals. Alex Halloran is tied for fourth in the AHA in points by a defenseman (2-9-11) while Dan Weissenhofer is ninth (0-7-7). Halloran has four points (2-2-4) in his last three games. Jason Torf made a season-high 39 saves and recorded his 10th career shutout in the 2-0 win over RIT, Nov. 1. Torf ranks fourth in the AHA in goals-against average with a 2.59. His .914 saves percentage is sixth in the league while his .611 winning percentage is third.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets
The AIC Yellow Jackets (Springfield, Mass.) are 3-12-0 overall and 3-6-0 in the AHA, tied for 10th place with six points. AIC opened the season by winning its first three conference games, over Sacred Heart, Bentley and Holy Cross. The Yellow Jackets also suffered a close loss on the road at Michigan State. However, after the 1-0 win over Holy Cross, the Yellow Jackets have lost nine straight games, including seven by three or more goals. Junior forward Alexander MacMillan leads the team with eight goals and 14 points. Three players have rotated in goal for AIC. Freshmen Ty Reichenbach and Hunter Leisner and senior Ryan Kerpan have all shared the duties. Reichenbach has a 4.24 GAA with a .888 saves percentage while Leitner has a 4.02 GAA and a .881 saves percentage. Leisner has started three of the last four games.
Series vs. the Yellow Jackets
Air Force and AIC have played 26 times and the Falcons hold a 22-2-2 lead in the series that began in 1980. AIC took three points in last season's series at the Academy with a win and a tie. In the last six games, Air Force has won three and AIC has won two with one tie. AFA is 10-0-0 in games played in Springfield As AHA rivals, Air Force leads the series 14-2-2 The last time the teams played in Springfield, Air Force won by scores of 8-3 and 7-3 in 2011.