No. 16 Air Force faces No. 1 Boston College in NCAA Notrheast Regional

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    March 20, 2012

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    This Week No. 16 Air Force (21-10-7) advances to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last six years as the Falcons won the Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament. The fourth-seeded Falcons face top-seeded Boston College, No. 1 in the nation, in the NCAA Northeast Regional at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., on Saturday, March 24 at 4:05 p.m. ET. Boston College (29-10-1), the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, reached the Northeast Regional by winning the Hockey East regular season and tournament titles. In the other regional semifinal, third-seeded Maine (23-13-3), ranked 11th in the USCHO.com poll, faces second seeded Minnesota-Duluth (24-9-6), ranked fifth in the nation, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The two semifinal winners meet on Sunday, March 25, at 8 p.m. in the regional final.

    About the Regional The four regional sites are: Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis., Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., and DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. The NCAA Frozen Four will be played at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., April 5-7. The Northeast regional features the past two defending national champions as Boston College won the title in 2010 and Minnesota-Duluth won it in 2011. BC, UMD and Maine have combined to win nine national championships and have competed in 57

    Radio/Internet All games will be broadcast in Colorado Springs on The Sports Animal AM 1300 and on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com Pregame show begins 30 minutes before faceoff each day. Jay Ritchie will call the play-by-play while Dave Toller will be the color analyst.

    Television Air Force's regional semifinal game against Boston College will be televised live on ESPNU HD. The regional final will also be televised on ESPNU HD on Sunday at 8:05 p.m. ET. ESPNU is available on DirecTV channel 208, Dish Network channel 141 and on Comcast channel 175 in Colorado Springs. The game will also be video streamed on ESPN3.com

    The Coach Head coach Frank Serratore is in his 15th season at Air Force with a record of 255-249-51 record (555 games). He is the winningest coach in the history of Air Force hockey, having led Air Force to five AHA championships and five NCAA Tournaments in the last six years. In his 19th season as a collegiate head coach, he has an overall record of 304-341-60 (704 games). Serratore earned his 300th career win with a 3-0 win at Robert Morris in the regular season finale. Serratore recorded his 250th win at Air Force on Feb. 17 with an 8-0 win over Mercyhurst.

    Five of the Last Six Rare Feat Air Force is one of just seven schools in the nation to compete in the NCAA Tournament five of the last six years (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012). The Falcons join Boston College (five of last six), Denver (five of last six), Miami (all six), Michigan (all six), New Hampshire (five of last six) and North Dakota (all six).

    AFA in the Big Dance Air Force is making its fifth trip in the last six years to NCAA Tournament. It is also the fifth trip in the 44 years of hockey at the Air Force Academy. Air Force is 1-4 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with four one-goal losses, one in regulation, two in overtime and one in double overtime. In 2007, Air Force, the No. 4 seed in the NCAA West Regional in Denver, nearly upset Minnesota, the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament. Air Force led 3-1 with just over eight minutes left, but the Gophers came back for a 4-3 win. In 2008, Air Force was the No. 4 seed in the Northeast Regional and fell to No. 1 seed (No. 2 overall in the tournament), Miami, 3-2 in overtime. Miami tied the game midway through the third period and then won at 15:21 of overtime. Miami was the eventual national runner-up. In 2009, Air Force became the first service academy team to win a hockey game at the NCAA Tournament. The fourth-seeded Falcons upset top-seeded and third-ranked Michigan, 2-0, in the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn. Michigan was the overall No. 4 seed while Air Force as the overall No. 13, the highest in school history. Derrick Burnett and Jacques Lamoureux scored and goalie Andrew Volkening made 43 saves. In the round of eight, Air Force fell to Vermont, 3-2, in double overtime for the right to go to the NCAA Frozen Four. Sean Bertsch's goal midway through the third period tied the game at 2-2. In the second overtime, a Dan Lawson slap shot from the point went through the net and teams continued play for nearly two minutes until the next whistle. A nearly-15-minute video replay showed the puck went through the net and Vermont advanced to the Frozen Four. In 2011, Air Force was the No. 4 seed in the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn., and faced Yale, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. Sean Bertsch tied the game at 1-1 late in the second period, but Yale's Chad Ziegler score the game-winner at 3:16 of overtime.

    The Series vs. Boston College Air Force and Boston College have played five times and the Eagles have won all five meetings. Boston College is 1-0 vs. the Falcons in Massachusetts, 2-0 vs. the Falcons in Colorado and 2-0 on neutral ice. The last time the teams met was in 2007 at the Dodge Holiday Classic in Minneapolis, an 8-2 Boston College win. The teams have never met in the NCAA Tournament

    Scouting Boston College The Eagles are the unanimous No. 1 team in both major polls and are the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament The Eagles are 29-10-1 overall and have won 15 straight games dating back to back-to-back losses at Maine, Jan. 20-21 BC is fifth in the nation in scoring offense (3.52 goals per game) and fifth in the nation in scoring defense (2.17) The Eagles have won two of the last four NCAA Championships (2008 and 2010). BC has won four national titles and been to the NCAA Tournament 31 times. Nine Eagles have been drafted by the NHL, including two first-rounders and two seconds. Junior forward Chris Kreider was a first round selection of the New York Rangers, sophomore forward Kevin Hayes was a first-rounder by the Chicago Blackhawks, junior defenseman Brian Dumoulin was a second rounder by the Carolina Hurricanes while senior defenseman Tommy Cross was a second-rounder by the Boston Bruins The Eagles boast three players with 19 or more goals led by Barry Almeida's 22 (38 points). Chris Kreider has 20 goals (41 points) and Johnny Gaudreau has 19 (39 points). Junior goaltender Parker Milner leads the nation with a 1.82 goals-against average and is seventh in the nation with a .931 saves percentage Almeida and Dumoulin were first-team all-Hockey East choices while Kreider was a second-teamer. Junior defenseman Patrick Wey, a fourth-round pick by the Washington Capitals, is the younger brother of former Falcon, Chris Wey. A defenseman from Pittsburgh, Pa., Chris played 11 games for the Falcons in 2003-04. He left the Academy after two years and completed his degree at Johns Hopkins University, where their father, Steve, played lacrosse in the late 1970's

    The Rankings Air Force is currently ranked 16th in the USCHO.com poll for the week of March 19 The Falcons are among the "others receiving votes" in the USA Today/USA Hockey top 15 poll Air Force has been among the `others receiving votes" in both polls most of the season Air Force's highest ever national ranking was No. 10 in December, 2008 Air Force's current national ranking of 16th in the USCHO.com poll is the highest in school history entering the NCAA Tournament. AFA was ranked 20th in the USCHO.com poll entering the 2011 Tournament. The Falcons were 18th entering the tournament in 2009 Air Force cracked the top 20 in the USCHO.com poll for the first time this season, Feb. 27, as the Falcons entered the poll at No. 20.


     

     

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