Falcons off until March 10 vs. Holy Cross at Cadet Ice Arena
Feb. 28, 2007
This Week: Air Force (16-15-5, 13-10-5 AHA) is off until March 10 when the Falcons, seeded fourth in the Atlantic Hockey Association tournament, host fifth-seeded Holy Cross (10-19-5, 9-14-5 AHA) Saturday, March 10, at 7:35 p.m. at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena (2,502).
Playoff Tickets: Fans can purchase tickets for the playoff game on March 10 on the internet at ww.GoAirForceFalcons.com, on the phone at 1-800-666-USAF or at the ticket office in the Falcon Athletic Center. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $6 for children 3-18.
Radio/ Internet: All of Air Force's remaining 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.
What's on Tap: Both Air Force and Holy Cross are off the weekend of March 3 as Canisius hosts AIC in the AHA play-in game in Buffalo, The winner of the play-in game faces No. 1 seed Sacred Heart on March 10 in Fairfield, Conn.
Tournament Seeds: RIT won the regular season championship, but is ineligible for postseason play. Sacred Heart finished second in the league with 38 points and earned the No. 1 seed. The Pioneers will host the winner of the AHA play-in game on March 10. No. 2 seed Army will host No. 7 seed Bentley. No. 3 seed UConn will host No. 6 seed Mercyhurst and No. 4 Air Force will host No. 5 Holy Cross.
What's at Stake: The four winners of the quarterfinal games on March 10 will advance to the AHA Final Four, March 16-17, in Rochester, N.Y. at the Blue Cross Arena. The winner of the Final Four receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals, March 23-25. First-ever Home Playoff Game: The home playoff game on March 10 vs. Holy Cross is the first-ever home hockey playoff game for the Falcons.
The Matchup: Air Force and Holy Cross played twice this season in Worcester, Mass., and the two teams tied both games by identical 2-2 scores in overtime. In the first game, goals by Michael Mayra and Mike Phillipich gave AFA a 2-0 lead in the second period. A short-handed goal by James Sixsmith and a power-play goal by Dale Reinhardt early in the third period tied the game at 2-2. AFA out-shot Holy Cross, 35-19, in the game. Peter Foster made 17 saves. In the second game, all four goals were scored in the second period. Power-play goals by Josh Schaffer and Phillipich gave AFA a 2-1 lead midway through the period. Sixsmith's short-handed goal at 11:52 tied the game. Ben Worker made his second career start and made 28 saves, including a penalty shot in overtime. AFA out-shot HC, 34-30, in the game and 69-49, in the series.
Scouting the Opponents: Holy Cross finished the season with a 10-19-5 overall record and a 9-14-5 mark in the AHA for sixth place (No. 5 seed) with 23 points. Forward James Sixsmith leads the team with 47 points in all games (17-30-47) and 41 points (15-26-41) in AHA games to rank second in the league. Two freshmen and a sophomore have split time in the nets for the Crusaders this season. All have similar numbers with a saves percentage near 88.0 and a goals against average around 3.4. The Crusaders have lost four straight, getting out-scored 18-9, and are winless in their last six. Since Thanksgiving, Holy Cross has won just three games (3-14-5). The team's top defenseman, Jon Landry (9-18-27) has missed the last seven games with an injury.
Series Record: Air Force and Holy Cross have played 17 times and AFA leads the series, 9-4-4. AFA dominated the series from 1993-2001, going 6-0-1 vs. the Crusaders. However, in the last six years, the series has been very even as Holy Cross has won four, AFA has won three and three have ended in ties. The teams have split the last four meetings at Air Force in 2004 and 2001. The last time the teams played at the Academy was in 2004 when Holy Cross won 8-4 and AFA won 5-2. Three of the last four meetings have ended in a 2-2 overtime tie.
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 145-187-24 record at AFA and an overall mark of 194-279-33. Holy Cross coach Paul Pearl is. in his 12th season with the Crusaders with a school and overall record of 191-167-16
Ehn Leads the Nation: Junior center Eric Ehn leads the nation in scoring with 60 points on 24 goals and 36 assists. He is four points ahead of Michigan's T.J. Hensick who currently has 56 points. Ehn has 13 points in his last six games. Neither Ehn or Hensick play the weekend of March 3. Ehn's 1.67 goals per game average is tops in the country. Ehn is also seventh in the nation in goals per game (0.67) and second in assists per game (1.00). He has led the nation in points in 12 of the last 15 weeks. Ehn has scored in 28 of the 36 games this season and has 16 multiple-point games and eight multiple-goal games.
Ehn for the Hobey; Ehn is ranked fifth 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 fifth and 10th in the last seven weeks. Fans can also vote for the Hobey by going to the official web-site at www.HobeyBaker.com. Ehn is currently fourth in the fan voting.
Ehn Sets AHA Record: With 45 points in 28 AHA games this season, Eric Ehn set a new league record for points in conference games only. Mercyhurst's Ben Cottreau and Holy Cross' Tyler McGregor both had 43 points last season in 28 games.
AFA Sets School Record for Division I wins in Season: Air Force has 16 Division I victories this season to set a new school record. Serratore's 1999-00 team first set the previous 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 16 this season and 11 last season. for 27 in the last two years.
20+ Goals for Ehn: Eric Ehn's 24 goals tie as the most by a Falcon in 22 years. Justin Kieffer also had 24 in 1997-98. Ehn's goals this season tie as the most by a Falcon since Frank Daldine had 28 in 1984-85. In the last 11 years, the Falcons have had a 20-goal scorer six times. 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 30+ assists: Ehn's 36 assists are the most in 30 years. Defenseman Tom Uren had 39 assists in 1976-77. Ehn's assists are the most by a Falcon forward since Chuck Delich had 38 in 1976-77. The school record for assists in a season is 49 set by center Dave Skalko in 1971-72. Ehn's 36 assists tie as the seventh most in school history.
60 Points for Ehn: With five points at AIC, Eric Ehn now has 60 points for the season. He became the first Falcon with 60 or more points in 27 years when Bob Sajevic had 64 points (35-29-64) in 1979-80. Chuck Delich holds the school record with 79 in 1975-76. Ehn is just the 11th Falcon in school history with 60 or more points in a season.
Two over 40: For the first time in 13 years, Air Force has two players with 40 or more points. Eric Ehn has 60 points and Andrew Ramsey has 44. The last time was in 1993-94 when Beau Bilek had 42 points and Andy Veneri had 41. The 104 combined points by Ehn and Ramsey are the most in 27 years when Bob Sajevic (35-29-64) and Mike Smellie (32-23-55) combined for 119 in 1979-80.
Two over 20: Ehn (24 goals) and Ramsey (20 goals) are the first two Falcons to score over 20 goals in the same season in 25 years when Mark Manney (27-26-53) and Tom Richards (22-26-48) combined for 48 goals in 1981-82.
Climbing the Ladder Quickly: Eric Ehn and Andrew Ramsey are quickly climbing the career scoring lists. Ehn, a junior, is currently 28th on the career scoring list with 117 points in 104 games. Ramsey, a senior, is currently 33rd on the list with 109 points.
Plus Side of the Ledger: Air Force has put up some impressive plus/minus numbers this season. The Falcons have six of the top 12 in the AHA in plus/minus. Eric Ehn leads Atlantic Hockey with a +26 while Andrew Ramsey is second with a +19, Mike Phillipich is fifth with a +16, Frank Schiavone is seventh with a +15, Matt Charbonneau is ninth with a +12 and Jeff Hajner is 12th with a +10.
Class Sets League Wins Record: The Class of 2007 has set a new school record with 32 league wins. The Class of 2006 had set the previous record with 21. The group won six as freshmen (CHA), five as sophomores (CHA), eight as juniors (CHA) and 13 this season (AHA).
Most Division I Wins By Class: The Class of 2007 has won 55 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 16 in 2007. The Class of 2005 won 50 Division I games.
Last Week: Air Force swept AIC by scores of 6-2 and 5-1, in a two-game league series, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 23-24, in Springfield, Mass.