Falcons host Canisius in final home regular-season series
Feb. 12, 2007
This Week: Air Force (13-14-5, 10-9-5 AHA) hosts its final regular season series of the season Friday-Saturday, Feb. 16-17, as the Canisius Golden Griffins (8-21-2, 8-15-2 AHA) come to Cadet Ice Arena. The faceoff is at 7:05 p.m. each night.
Radio/ Internet: Both games can be heard on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com and in Colorado Springs on ESPN 1300 AM The Sports Animal. Jay Ritchie, in his 10th season of Air Force hockey and 19th season of Falcon athletics, will do the play-by-play. Dave Toller will do the color. The pregame show begins 20 minutes prior to faceoff.
Final Home Series for Seniors: Saturday's Canisius game will be the final regular-season home game for eight Falcon seniors, the largest class in Frank Serratore's 10 years at the Academy. AFA could still host a conference playoff game depending on the final AHA standings. The class of 2007 features two goalies (Peter Foster and Ben Worker), two defensemen (captain Billy Devoney and assistant captain Brian Gineo) and four forwards (assistant captain Andrew Ramsey, Jay Medenwaldt, Brian Reese and Theo Zacour). All eight have been major contributors to the Falcons' success over the last four years. Devoney has missed just one game on the back line and has played in 136 games with 34 points in four years. Gineo has missed just two games in his career and has played in 135 games with 67 points. Foster has played in 85 games in goal. His 2.95 career goals against average in the best in school history while his saves percentage of .885 is the fourth best ever. Worker did not start a game until the second half of his senior season, but has now started nine of the last 11 games. Ramsey has 99 career points in 130 games and ranks 38th on the career scoring list. Medenwaldt has filled many roles and played in 113 games. Reese has missed several games due to injury, but has played in 83 and was second on the team in goals as a junior. Zacour has played a key role as a defensive forward this season and has played in 111 games with 50 career points.
Most Division I Wins By Class: The Class of 2007 has won 52 Division I games in four years, the most Division I wins by any class in school history. The class won 14 in 2004, 14 in 2005, 11 in 2006 and 13 in 2007. The Class of 2005 won 50 Division I games.
Scouting the Opponents: Canisius (8-15-2, 8-21-2 AHA) is 2-6-1 in its last nine games. The Griffs did split its last two conference series. Canisius split with Holy Cross at home last weekend, winning the first game, 5-2, and losing the second game, 2-1. Two weeks ago, the Griffs split with league-leading RIT, winning on the road, 4-1, and losing at home, 4-2. Freshman Josh Heidinger leads the team with 25 assists and 33 points. Freshman Jason Weeks leads the team with 14 goals. Freshman Andrew Loewen is the team's top goalie with a 2.90 goals-against average and a .909 saves percentage.
The Coaches: Air Force coach Frank Serratore (Bemidji State, 1982) is in his 10th season at Air Force and his 14th as a collegiate head coach. He has a 143-187-24 record at AFA and an overall mark of 192-279-33. Canisius coach Dave Smith is in his second season with the Griffs with a school and overall record of 18-44-4.
Series Record: Air Force and Canisius have played just twice in history with both meetings coming earlier this season. The two teams split the series in Buffalo, N.Y., as AFA won the first game, 5-3, and Canisius rebounded for a 4-1 win in game two.
Earlier this Season: AFA and Canisius split a two-game series in Buffalo, Nov. 11-12. AFA won the first game, 5-3, with three goals in the third period. Goals by Josh Schaffer and Eric Ehn had the score tied a 2-2 entering the third period. However, a Carl Hudson power-play in the first minute of the third period gave the Griffs a 3-2 lead. Ehn's second of the game on the power play at 13:22 tied the game. Less than a minute later, Brian Gineo's power-play goal gave AFA a 4-3 lead. Mike Phillipich added an empty-netter to seal the win. AFA out-shot Canisius, 30-20 as Ian Harper made 17 saves. In game two, AFA scored first on Ehn's third goal of the series at 6:18 of the first period. However, Canisius scored the last four goals of the game for a 4-1 win. The Griffs tied the game at 1-1 at 8:15 of the first period. In the second period, Canisius scored two short-handed goals on the same AFA power play for a 3-1 lead. Follett's power-play goal midway through the third period ended the scoring. AFA out-shot Canisius, 28-20, in the game as Harper made 16 saves.
Ehn for the Hobey; Junior center Eric Ehn is second in the nation in scoring with 50 points, just one point behind T.J. Hensick of Michigan. Ehn is in the top 10 on the CSTV.com Hobey Baker watch list. The Hobey is given annually to nation's top collegiate hockey player. Ehn first appeared on the list on Jan. 3 and was No. 10. He has been between sixth and 10th in the last five weeks. Fans can also vote for the Hobey by going to the official web-site at www.HobeyBaker.com. Ehn is currently fifth in the fan voting.
Ehn Second in the Nation: Eric Ehn (21-29-50) is second in the nation in scoring, one spot up from last week with 1.56 per game. He is also fifth in assists per game (0.91), and 10th in goals per game (0.66). He has led the nation in points in 10 of the last 13 weeks. Ehn has scored in 24 of the 32 games this season and has 13 multiple-point games and seven multiple-goal games.
Close Only Counts In ...: Of Air Force's 32 games this season, 24 have been decided by two goals or less. Five of those games ended in a tie. In the other 19 games, AFA is 8-11-0. However, the Falcons are just 2-6 in games decided by one goal. The Falcons have lost three straight games by one goal, including one in overtime. In the eight games decided by three or more goals, AFA is 5-3.
One to Tie Record: Air Force has 13 Division I victories this season and needs just one more to tie the school record of 14 set several times. Serratore's 1999-00 team first set the record with 14 Division I wins. The 2001-02, 2003-04 and 2004-05 teams all tied the record. The 2003-04 and 2004-05 teams won 28 Division I games to set a two-year school record. AFA has won 13 this season and 11 last season. for 24 in the last two years.
50 Points for Ehn: With three points at RIT, Eric Ehn has hit 50 points for the season. He becomes the first Falcon to hit 50 points in a season since Justin Kieffer had 51 in 1997-98 and just the second Falcon to hit the mark in the last 26 years. Prior to Kieffer, the last Falcon with 50 or more points came when Mark Manney had 53 in 1981-82. The last Falcon with more than 53 points was Bob Sajevic who had 64 points (35-29-64) in 1979-80.
20 Goals for Ehn: Eric Ehn became the first Falcon to have 20 goals in a season since current assistant coach Andy Berg had 22 in 2003. In the last 11 years, the Falcons have had a 20-goal scorer just four times. Justin Kieffer had 23 goals in 1996-97 and 24 in 1998-99. Derek Olson had 21 goals in 2001-02 and Berg had 22 goals in 2002-03. The school record for goals in a season was set by Chuck Delich with 44 in 1975-76. Since 1980, just two players have had 25 or more goals. Mark Manney had 27 in 1981-82 and Frank Daldine had 28 in 1984-85.
... And Nearing 30 assists: Ehn has 29 assists this season which ties as the most since Beau Bilek had 29 assists in 1994-95. Ehn could become the first player with 30 assists since Bilek had 33 in 1993-94. Ehn could become the first forward with 30 or more assists since Joe Delich had 31 in 1998-89.
Last Week: RIT swept Air Force in a two-game league series in Rochester, N.Y., by scores of 5-4 and 2-1.