Air Force hosts Bentley in AHA Quarterfinals, March 7-9
March 4, 2008
This Week No. 3 seed Air Force (17-11-6, 14-9-5 AHA) hosts No. 8 seed Bentley (9-19-6, 9-13-6 AHA) in the Atlantic Hockey Association quarterfinals this weekend at Cadet Ice Arena. The best two out of three series begins Friday, March 7. The teams also play Saturday, March 8 and, if necessary, Sunday, March 9. Faceoff is at 7:05 p.m. MT each night.
Radio/Internet All 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 20 minutes prior to faceoff each night.
Video Streaming/Television All 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. No television.
AHA Quarterfinal Series Air Force, the No. 3 seed in the AHA Tournament, hosts No. 8-seed Bentley in the quarterfinal series, March 7-9, at the Cadet Ice Arena (2,502). The series is a best two out of three. The teams will play Friday and Saturday and Sunday if necessary. All game times are 7:05 p.m. MT. For ticket information, please call the athletic ticket office at 1-800-666-USAF or online at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com.
What's At Stake The winner of this weekend's quarterfinal series advances to the AHA Final Five at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. The No. 4 and No. 5 seeds will play Friday, March 14. The winner of that game plays the No. 1 seed and the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds play on Saturday, March 15, in the semifinals. The championship game is Sunday, March 16. The winner of the AHA Tournament gets the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament and will be one of 16 teams to play in our of four NCAA Regionals.
The Rest of the Field Army clinched the AHA regular-season championship with 37 points. The Black Knights host No. 10 AIC. RIT finished in second place with 35 points and will host No. 9 Holy Cross. Air Force is the No. 3 seed with 33 points and will host No. 8 Bentley. Sacred Heart is the No. 4 seed with 31 points and will host No. 7 UConn. Mercyhurst is the No. 5 seed and will host No. 6 Canisius. All series begin Friday, March 7.
Last Week Air Force took three points at home from AIC with a 2-2 overtime tie and a 5-0 victory. Bentley was swept at RIT by identical 5-2 scores
Rankings Air Force has received votes every week in the USCHO/CSTV poll. Based on the number of votes, Air Force was No. 30 in this week's poll. The Falcons did not receive any votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. Air Force peaked at No. 20 in the USCHO/CSTV poll and No. 18 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll the week of Jan. 21. Bentley is unranked.
Scouting The Opponents Bentley (Waltham, Mass.) is 9-19-6 overall and 9-13-6 in the league. The Falcons have lost three straight and have just four wins since Thanksgiving. However, Bentley has beaten top-seeded Army twice, taken three points from third-seeded Air Force and split with fourth-seeded Sacred Heart. Bentley has been a better road team than a home team with four wins at home and five on the road. Junior forward Dain Prewitt, from Westminster, Colo., leads the team with 30 points. Freshman Erik Peterson, one of the top rookies in the league, leads the team with 16 goals. Freshman Joe Calvi has a 2.80 GAA and a .915 saves percentage.
Series vs. Bentley Air Force and Bentley have played 17 times and AFA holds a 10-5-2 lead in the series that began in 1998. AFA won six of the first seven games. Since then, the series has been dead even. Each team has won four games and two have ended in ties. As AHA foes, AFA leads the series, 4-3-1.
Earlier This Season vs. Bentley Air Force won the 2007-08 season vs. Bentley with a 2-1-1 record. The teams split the series in Waltham, Mass., in late October. Bentley won the first game, 4-0, marking the only time this season that Air Force has been shutout. AFA came back for a 3-1 win in game two. In the series at the Academy, Feb. 1-2, the teams skated to a 4-4 tie in the first game while Air Force won the second game, 3-1.
Series Notes vs. Bentley In the four games between the two teams, each team scored 10 goals. AFA was 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) on the power play while Bentley was 2-for-13 (15.4 percent). AFA averaged 31 shots per game in the series while Bentley averaged 27. Derrick Burnett and Michael Mayra each had four points for AFA, all assists. Jeff Hajner, Brent Olson and Matt Fairchild each had two goals. Andrew Volkening played every minute in goal and had Erik Peterson combined for 10 points. Peterson had three goals and three a 2.23 GAA and a .915 saves percentage. For Bentley, Dain Prewitt and assists while Prewitt had three goals and one assist. Goalie Joe Calvi played every minute and had a 2.48 GAA and a .920 saves percentage.
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 166-200-30. His overall mark is 215-292-39. Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist is in his seventh season with a 70-116-22 school and overall record.
Peaking at the Right Time? Air Force's current five-game unbeaten streak is the fourth-longest in the nation. The Falcons are 4-0-1 in the last five and have outscored its opponents by a combined score of 21-5. AFA has won three of the games by shutout (7-0 at Mercyhurst, 3-0 at Canisius and 5-0 vs. AIC). North Dakota owns the nation's longest unbeaten streak at 14 games. New Hampshire's streak is at 11 games while Harvard is at six games.
AFA Sets Record With 17 Regular-Season Division I Wins
Air Force's 17 Division I regular-season wins are the most in school history. Air Force had 16 Division I wins in the regular season (16-15-5) last season. The school record for Division I wins in all games is 19 set last season when the Falcons won three games in the playoffs. The overall school record for victories was set in 1971-72 with 25 wins.