Falcons travel to Bemidji State
This Week: Air Force (5-12-1, 3-5 College Hockey America) travels to Minnesota for a two-game CHA series against the Bemidji State Beavers (11-8-3, 6-3-1), Jan. 20-21. The teams play at 7:35 p.m. CST on Friday and at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.
Radio/Television/Internet: No television or AFA radio. The game will be broadcast in Bemidji, Minn., and will be available at www.kkbjam.com
On the Road Again: Air Force will play its next seven games, and nine of the final 13, on the road. The Falcons play four straight at home against Alabama-Huntsville (Feb. 17-18) and Robert Morris (Feb. 24-25).
The CHA Race: Bemidji State is tied for first place in the CHA with Niagara with 13 points (6-3-1 record). Air Force is fourth with six points. BSU was picked to finish second while AFA was picked sixth.
The Coaches: Air Force coach Frank Serratore (Bemidji State, 1982) is in his ninth season at Air Force and his 13th as a collegiate head coach. He has a 124-163-19 record at AFA and an overall mark of 173-255-28. Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore is in his fifth season as the Beavers' head coach. The two-time CHA coach of the year has a school and overall record of 80-66-20.
Scouting the Opponents: Bemidji State (Bemidji, Minn.) is tied for first place in the CHA with a 6-3-1 league record and an 11-8-3 overall mark. The Beavers got off to a great start with sweeps at Minnesota-Duluth and home vs. Mankato. However, recently, BSU owns just two wins since Dec. 3 with a record of 2-5-3 in the last 10 games. Luke Erickson and Rob Sirianni each have 10 goals. Sophomore Matt Climie and Layne Sedevie have split time in the nets and each have a goals-against average under 2.70 and a saves percentage over .910
Brothers in Arms: Frank Serratore and his younger brother Tom, head coach at Bemidji State, are one of just three sets of family members that coach against each other in the same conference in any sport. Florida State's Bobby Bowden and his son Tommy, head football coach at Clemson, coach against each other in the ACC. Brothers Joseph (Columbia) and James Jones (Yale) coach men's basketball in the Ivy League. Since Tom took over the head coaching reins at BSU, he holds a 16-1-1 advantage over his older brother.
Series Notes: Air Force and Bemidji State have played 29 times and the Beavers hold a 21-6-2 advantage in the series that began in 1997. Earlier this season, the teams split a two-game series at the Academy. AFA won the first game and ended a 13-game Bemidji State winning streak. The win marked the first time that a Frank Serratore coached team beat his younger brother, Tom. Tom's Beavers had a 15-0-1 record entering this season. Air Force is 1-11-2 in Bemidji. The only Falcon win in Bemidji came in 2001, a 5-4 overtime victory. The teams also tied 2-2 in 2002 and 4-4 in 2001. BSU has won six straight in Minnesota.
Earlier This Season vs. BSU: Air Force split with then-15th-ranked Bemidji State, Oct. 28-29, at Cadet Ice Arena. The Falcons won the first game, 4-3, while the Beavers won game two, 2-1. In the first game, AFA scored three first-period goals en route to a 4-3 win in the first conference game for both teams. AFA led three 3-0 and 4-2 in the game. Air Force broke a 13-game losing streak to the Beavers. Falcon coach Frank Serratore also earned his first win over his younger brother, Tom. Tom was 15-0-1 in the last 16 games against his older brother. The Falcons broke a four-game losing streak and handed BSU its first defeat of the season. The win was also just the sixth ever against Bemidji State and the first at home since 2000. On Saturday, Bemidji State scored two first-period goals and then held off a late Air Force rally for a 2-1 win. BSU came out strong in the first period and took a 2-0 lead 11 minutes into the game. AFA scored at the 9:53 mark of the third period.
Last Time at Bemidji: Air Force nearly upset the conference champs on their home ice twice, Jan. 7-8, 2005, but fell just short. BSU won by scores of 4-2 and 4-3 in overtime. AFA had a 2-0 just 38 seconds into the first game. BSU took a 3-2 lead late in the second period on two power-play goals and a shortie. BSU added an empty-netter at the end. Brendan Cook had two goals and an assist. In the second game, the teams traded goals throughout, but the Beavers never led until the game-winner. BSU tied the game at 3-3 when Andrew Murray scored with 59 seconds left in the third. Jean-Guy Gervais scored at 3:26 in overtime for the win.
First in OT: Air Force's 5-4 win over Niagara marked the team's first overtime win of the season. It came in AFA's third overtime game of the season. Against Army, Nov. 12, Air Force overcame a 3-0 deficit midway through the third period to tie the game at 3-3 with just under four minutes left in the third period. However, Army scored the game-winner at 1:30 of overtime. Against RIT, Dec. 31, neither team scored in the third period or overtime in a 2-2 tie. Niagara overcame a two-goal Falcon lead with five minutes left in the third, but Mike Phillipich's goal at 1:30 of OT gave AFA the win. The victory was AFA's first overtime win since last season's 4-3 victory over Wayne State in the CHA quarterfinals. Last season, Air Force was 3-2-3 in overtime.
On Deck: Following the BSU series, the Falcons enjoy their final off week of the season. The Falcons resume play on the road at Robert Morris, Feb. Feb. 3-4.
Last Week: Air Force split a two-game CHA series with first-place Niagara, Jan. 13-14. AFA won the first game, 5-4 in overtime. Niagara won game two, 7-2.