Falcons host #4 Denver; travel to #3 Colorado College
Jan. 15, 2008
This Week Air Force (11-7-4, 9-6-3 AHA) hosts #4/# 4 Denver (17-5-0, 12-4-0 WCHA), Friday, Jan. 18, Cadet Ice Arena (2,502). The Falcons then travel down I-25 to face #3/#3 Colorado College (16-6-0, 15-3-0 WCHA), Saturday, Jan. 19, Colorado Springs World Arena
Radio/Internet Both games will be broadcast on the radio on KKML AM 1300 The Sports Animal and on the internet at GoAirForceFalcons.com. Jay Ritchie will do the play-by-play while Dave Toller will do the color. The pregame show begins at 6:45 p.m. each night. Live stats will be available at GoAirForceFalcons.com and clicking on the hockey page and then the schedule.
Video Streaming/Television The Denver game will be televised live on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain. Tim Neverett will do the play-by-play while Charlie Host will do the color. Both games will be video streamed with audio by the B2 Network on a subscription basis. For more information, please go to the Atlantic Hockey Association web-site at AtlanticHockeyOnline.com.
Last Week Air Force split a two-game AHA series at home with second-place RIT. AFA won the first game, 5-2. RIT won the second game, 4-3, in overtime. Denver split a two-game WCHA series at home with Wisconsin, winning, 3-2, and losing 7-2. Colorado College swept a two-game WCHA home series with Alaska-Anchorage, 6-1 and 5-2.
Rankings Air Force is receiving votes in the USCHO/CSTV poll. Based on the number of votes, AFA is ranked 22nd in the national poll. The Falcons are no longer receiving votes in the USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today poll. Colorado College is ranked third in both polls while Denver is fourth.
Scouting The Opponents Denver is 17-5 overall and 12-4 in the WCHA for second place. The Pioneers' seven-game winning streak ended with a 7-2 home loss to Wisconsin last Saturday. The Pioneers are 7-2 on the road this season with the only losses at fourth-ranked CC and fifth-ranked Notre Dame. The Pioneers are 5-1 in non-conference games with the only loss at Notre Dame. DU has non-conference wins over Maine, Notre Dame, Sacred Heart and Dartmouth. DU goalie Peter Mannino is one of the top goalies in the nation with a 2.13 goals-against average and a .923 saves percentage to rank 12th in the nation in both categories. Sophomore Brock Trotter leads the team with 29 points (12-17-29) to rank 10th in the nation in points per game.
Colorado College is 16-6-0 and 15-3 and in first place in the WCHA. The Tigers have won four straight and eight of the last 10. CC is 9-0 at home this season with victories over Minnesota, Minn.-Duluth, Wisconsin, Denver and Alaska-Anchorage. CC is 1-3 in non-conference games, all on the road vs. eighth-ranked New Hampshire, RPI and fifth-ranked UMass. Freshman goalie Richard Bachman, a Dallas Stars draft choice, is one of the top goalies in the country with a .940 saves percentage and a 1.61 goals-against average, ranking second in the nation in both categories. Junior Chad Rau leads the team with 28 points (17-11-28) and ranks third in the nation in goals scored.
The Coaches Air Force coach Frank Serratore (Bemidji State, 1982) is in his 11th season with the Falcons and his 15th as a collegiate head coach. He has an Air Force record of 160-196-28. His overall mark is 209-288-37. Denver's George Gwozdecky is in his 22nd year as a college head coach. He has an overall record of 464-320-61 and a 314-196-40 record in his 14th season at DU. He led the Pioneers to back-to-back national championships in 2004 and 2005. Colorado College's Scott Owens is in his ninth year as a college head coach and has an overall and CC record of 211-115-24 record.
Get On The Bus Following the Denver game, Air Force plays seven of its last 11 regular-season games on the road. AFA travels to Army, Jan. 25-27, hosts Bentley, Feb. 1-2, plays at Mercyhurst, Feb. 8-9, at Canisius, Feb. 22-23, and then closes out the regular season vs. AIC at home, Feb. 29-March 1.
On the Big Sheet Air Force will face Colorado College on the Olympic-size ice on Saturday. The Falcons have played on the big sheet twice this season with two games at the Dodge Holiday Classic in Minneapolis. AFA lost to Boston College, 8-2, and then rebounded for a 2-2 overtime tie vs. Minnesota. AFA's last win on the big sheet came in the Icebreaker Tournament at the Colorado Springs World Arena when Air Force defeated Union, 9-2, Oct. 8, 2005.
Looking To End Streaks Air Force looks to end a couple of long losing streaks to Denver and Colorado College. AFA has lost 19 straight to Denver. The last Falcon win came in 1980 at Denver. The Falcons have never beaten Denver at Cadet Ice Arena (0-11-0). AFA has lost 24 straight to Colorado College and is winless in the last 29 games. The teams skated to a 3-3 overtime tie at the Academy in 1989. AFA's last win over CC was in 1985, 6-5 in overtime at the Broadmoor World Arena. AFA is 0-7 at the new Colorado Springs World Arena.
Series Records Denver leads the series with Air Force, 25-2-0. AFA has lost 19 straight to Denver. The last Falcon win came in 1980 at Denver. The Falcons have never beaten Denver at Cadet Ice Arena (0-11-0). The last three games at the Academy have been close, with Denver winning by scores of 4-2, 4-1 and 2-1 in 2002 when DU was No. 1 in the nation. Colorado College leads the series with Air Force, 55-6-2. AFA has lost 24 straight to Colorado College and is winless in the last 29 games. The teams skated to a 3-3 overtime tie at the Academy in 1989. AFA's last win over CC was in 1985, 6-5 in overtime at the Broadmoor World Arena. AFA is 0-7 at the new Colorado Springs World Arena.
Last Season Denver defeated Air Force, 2-1, as all three goals were scored in the second period. Ryan Dingle scored both Pioneer goals in less than two minutes. The game-winner was short-handed. Eric Ehn scored for Air Force late in the second period. Colorado College defeated Air Force, 2-1. Kilpatrick scored both CC goals. Ehn scored for the Falcons. Trailing 2-1, Air Force pulled its goalie and Michael Mayra tipped in a shot just before the horn sounded. However, Mayra's blade was above the cross bar and was called for a high stick and the Tigers held on for a 2-1 win.
Olson on a Tear
Junior right winger Brent Olson has been as hot as any player in the league recently. The Baudette, Minn., native has 10 goals in his last 12 games. Olson has scored two goals in three games this season, vs. AIC, Nov. 30, Canisius, Dec. 8 and Minnesota, Dec. 30. In the Minnesota game, his second goal came after the Falcons pulled the goalie and he tied the game at 2-2 with 1:02 remaining in the third period. As a result, Air Force earned a 2-2 overtime tie against Minnesota on the Gophers' home ice. Olson's career-best six-game scoring streak ended Jan. 12 vs. RIT. During the streak, he had nine points (6-3-9). He leads the team with 11 goals and is second on the team with 22 points.