March 12, 2013
This Week Air Force (17-11-7, 15-7-5 AHA) is the No. 2 seed in the AHA Tournament and will host No. 7 Canisius (15-18-5, 12-13-2 AHA) in a best of three series at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena, Friday-Sunday, March 15-17. Air Force and Canisius have never met in the playoffs. The teams will play on Friday-Saturday, March 15-16, at 7:05 p.m. MT. If a third game is necessary, the teams will play on Sunday, March 17, at 7:05 at the Cadet Ice Arena. Air Force was one of four AHA teams with a bye last weekend, joining No. 1 Niagara, No. 3 Holy Cross and No. 4 UConn.
Get Your Playoff Tickets Playoff tickets are currently on sale here, or on the phone at 719-472-1895 or 1-800-666-USAF or at the main ticket office in the Falcon Athletic Center.
Radio/Internet/Television All games will be broadcast in Colorado Springs on The Sports Animal AM 1300 and on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com. Jay Ritchie will call the play-by-play while Dave Toller will provide color analysis. Pregame show begins 30 minutes before faceoff each day. Live stats at GoAirForceFalcons.com. All games will be video streamed live with audio by America One Television. Subscriptions can be purchased at www.americaone.com/college.
The Falcons in the Playoffs Air Force joined Atlantic Hockey for the 2006-07 season and has won two regular-season titles and five tournament titles in seven years. AFA was the No. 4 seed in 2007; No. 3 seed in 2008; No. 1 seed in 2009; No. 3 seed in 2010; No. 2 seed in 2011; the No. 1 seed in 2012 and the No. 2 seed in 2013. Air Force has played in six quarterfinal series and all six have been at the Academy. AFA won all six series, but two of them went to three games. AFA was the No. 1 seed in 2009 and needed three games to beat No. 8 seed Sacred Heart. AFA was also the No. 1 seed last season and needed three games to beat No. 8 seed UConn. AFA is 21-3 all-time in the AHA playoffs. AFA is 11-2 all-time in the AHA quarterfinals. Air Force's complete history in the AHA playoffs is on page three of this release.
The Playoff Picture Last weekend, all four home teams (the higher seeds) swept the best-of-three first-round series. No. 5 Robert Morris swept No. 12 Sacred Heart; No. 6 Mercyhurst swept No. 11 Army; No. 7 Canisius swept No. 10 Bentley; and No. 8 RIT swept No. 9 AIC. All quarterfinal series, March 15-17, are best of three series with all games beginning at 7:05 p.m. local time. No. 1 Niagara will host No. 8 RIT; No. 2 Air Force will host No. 7 Canisius; No. 3 Holy Cross will host No. 6 Mercyhurst; and No. 4 UConn will host No. 5 Robert Morris.
Falcons in Rare Company Air Force is one of just four teams in the nation to rank in the top 17 in the nation in both scoring offense and scoring defense. Air Force ranks eighth in the nation in scoring offense (3.26) and 15th in the nation in scoring defense (2.40). Minnesota, Minnesota State, New Hampshire and Mass-Lowell are the other four teams in the top 17 in both categories.
Earlier This Season vs. the Griffs Air Force and Canisius have played three times this season and the Falcons won the series, 2-0-1. The two teams skated to a 1-1 overtime tie in Buffalo in October. Air Force swept the two-game series at the Air Force Academy, 3-1 and 3-2, Feb. 15-16. Kyle De Laurell and Scott Holm each had two goals and an assist in the series. In the three games, the Falcons allowed just four goals. Jason Torf had a 1.30 GAA and a .947 saves percentage as he stopped 72 of the 76 shots in the series this season vs. Canisius.
Series vs. the Golden Griffs Air Force leads the all-time series vs. Canisius, 9-5-7. Five of the last nine games in the series have ended in a tie. Air Force is unbeaten in the last 10 games against the Griffs (5-0-5). In 11 games played in Colorado, AFA has a 4-3-4 record against Canisius. Air Force is unbeaten in the last five games against Canisius at AFA (3-0-2). The last Canisius win in the series was a 3-1 win in Buffalo in 2009. Last season, the teams played three times and AFA won the series with a 1-0-2 record. The teams played once at Air Force and the teams skated to a 3-3 overtime tie. In 2008-09, Air Force's most successful season ever with 28 wins and a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight, Canisius swept a two-game series at Air Force in January, 5-4 and 4-2. AFA lost just 11 games that season.
Scouting the Golden Griffs Canisius is 15-18-5 overall and the No. 7 seed in the AHA playoffs with a 12-13-2 league record. Canisius has won four straight, including a sweep of No. 10 Bentley in the first-round of the playoffs last weekend in Buffalo. Junior Kyle Gibbons leads the team with 16 goals and 34 points this season. Junior goalie Tony Capobianco is among the top goalies in the league. He has a .929 saves percentage and a 2.31 GAA this season. Capobianco allowed just one goal in the two-game sweep of Bentley last weekend. He stopped 70 of 71 shots in the series. Senior Preston Shupe scored two goals in the first game (a 4-0 win). Sophomore Cody Freeman scored two goals in the second game (a 2-1 win).