Air Force hosts Army in Atlantic Hockey series
Jan. 20, 2009
This Week Air Force (15-6-1, 12-3-1 AHA) hosts Army (7-12-3, 6-7-3 AHA) at the Cadet Ice Arena in a two-game Atlantic Hockey series, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 23-24. The faceoff is at 7:05 p.m. MT each night.
Radio/Internet Both games will be broadcast live in Colorado Springs on KCSF AM 1300 and on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com by clicking on this link http://goairforcefalcons.cstv.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/m-hockey-live-audio.html. The pregame show begins 20 minutes prior to faceoff. Jay Ritchie will call the play-by-play while Dave Toller will provide the analysis. Both games will also be video streamed live 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. No television.
Last Week Air Force was swept at home by Canisius, 5-4 and 4-2 Army and Holy Cross skated to a pair of overtime ties (3-3 and 4-4) at West Point, N.Y.
Rankings Air Force is ranked 20th in both the USCHO/CBS College Sports, the Falcons lowest ranking since Oct. 20. AFA received votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey magazine poll. AFA is No. 18 this week in the InsideCollegeHockey.com power rankings. Army is not ranked.
The Coaches Frank Serratore (Bemidji State, 1982) is in his 12th season as the head coach of Air Force. He has led the Falcons to back-to-back conference championships and NCAA berths. Serratore is the winningest coach in the history of Air Force hockey with a record of 185-207-31 and a career mark of 234-299-40 in his 16th year. Brian Riley (Brown, 1983) is in his fifth year at Army with a school and overall record of 64-77-22.
Scouting the Opponents Army (West Point, N.Y.) is 7-12-3 overall and in sixth place in the AHA with a 6-7-3 record. Army went through a rough stretch in November and December going just 1-8 at one point. However, Army is now unbeaten in their last five games (3-0-2) with the last loss coming to Ohio State on Jan. 2. The streak started with a 3-2 win over then-No. 2 Miami at the Ohio Hockey Classic. Army then swept Mercyhurst at West Point and tied Holy Cross twice last week at the Point. The Black Knights are 3-11-1 on the road this season. Junior forward Owen Meyer leads the team with 13 goals and 23 points. Sophomore Jay Clark has taken over as the starter in goal, playing every minute in the last five games. He made a career-best 56 saves vs. Miami.
Series Records Army and Air Force have played 45 times and the Falcons hold a 25-18-2 lead in the series that began in 1976. The teams have played 20 times at Air Force and the Falcons hold a 13-5-2 advantage. However, the teams split the series in Colorado in 2007 and, in the last eight games at AFA, each team has won four. Air Force dominated the series from 1997-2001 with a 10-1-1 record in that span. However, since 2003, Army has won eight of the 13 games. Just three of the 42 games have gone into overtime (ties in 1990 and 1997 and the Army win in 2005). Thirteen games have been decided by one goal and seven by two goals. In games when there were four or more combined goals, AFA is 22-9-2. In games when less than four combined goals are scored, Air Force is 3-9.
That Was Then ... It has been a tale of two seasons for Air Force. In the first 13 games, the Falcons were 13-0 and averaging 5.17 goals per game. The Falcons scored five or more goals in six of the 13 games. Air Force was outscoring it opponents 66-16. The Falcons allowed one goal or less in nine of the 13 games. The Falcon penalty kill was at 27.6 (very similar to the season average), but the penalty kill was at 93.8. AFA was also the fourth least penalized team in the nation, taking just 6.0 minutes per game.
And This Is Now ... However, in the last nine games, Air Force is 2-6-1. Air Force is averaging just 2.3 goals per game while allowing 3.1. The opponents are outscoring Air Force, 28-21 (including five empty-net goals). Air Force has scored three or more goals just twice in the nine games while allowing three or more in seven of the nine. The Falcon power play has remained fairly consistent at 22.2, but the penalty kill is at 79.2 and the Falcons are taking 19.3 penalty minutes per game.
Three Falcons on Hobey Ballot Falcons Greg Flynn, Andrew Volkening and Jacques Lamoureux are on the ballot for the Hobey Baker Award in the fan-voting phase. Fans can vote for the Heisman Trophy of college hockey at hobeybaker.com. Click on the Vote for Hobey Baker icon and follow the prompts. This first phase of fan balloting will run now through March 8, 2009. Phase two of fan balloting will then begin on March 20 from the list of Top Ten Hobey Baker finalists. The fans' vote accounts for a one percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year's award recipient. In 2007, former Falcon Eric Ehn became the first service academy player ever named as one of 10 finalists for the Hobey. Ehn was then named to the "Hobey Hat Trick" as one of three finalists for the award.
Thank You Fans!!
Fans have come out to Cadet Ice Arena like never before. In 11 home games this season, the Falcons have averaged nearly a sellout. The Cadet Ice Arena seats 2,502 and the 11-game home average this season is 2,423. In 10 of Air Force's 11 home games, more than 2,000 fans have come to Cadet Ice Arena. A school-record crowd of 3,535 watched Air Force beat Sacred Heart, 8-1, on Nov. 21. The next night, the sixth-largest crowd in school history, 2,731, watched the Falcons sweep Sacred Heart, 7-1, on Nov. 22. The third-straight sellout crowd came vs. Colorado College with the fourth-largest crowd in school history of 3,063. Air Force had a school record sellout streak of three games in the two Sacred Heart games and the Colorado College game. There have been five sellouts this season as both Canisius games were sellouts as well. All the above number are based on official attendance only (not estimated) which began in 1997.