Falcons end season with 20-12-6 overall record; ranked 18th in the nation
April 11, 2011
Final Tallies Air Force closed out the 2010-11 season with a 20-12-6 overall record. Air Force was ranked 18th in the final USCHO.com poll and received votes in the USA Hockey/USA Today poll. The Falcons won the AHA Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years. AFA placed second in the AHA regular season with a 14-7-6 record and 34 points, three points behind regular-season champion RIT. AFA earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs and then swept Sacred Heart in two games in the quarterfinals. The Falcons beat third-seeded Holy Cross, 3-2, in the semifinals and then blanked RIT, 1-0, the championship game. AFA's season ended with a 2-1 overtime loss to Yale, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, in the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn.
Hot Down the Stretch Not only did Air Force win eight straight, but Air Force was 11-3-3 in the last 17 games. The turning point of the season could have come on Feb. 5 in Rochester, N.Y. After losing to RIT, 1-0 in overtime, on Feb. 4, RIT opened up a 4-0 lead in the first 12 minutes of game two on Saturday, Feb. 5. AFA came back to earn a 5-5 overtime tie and then won nine of the last 10 games.
Four out of Five Ain't Bad Air Force has won the AHA Final Four and advanced to the NCAA Tournament four of the last five years. The Falcons made three straight trips to the Big Dance in 2007, 2008 and 2009. In 2010, AFA lost to Sacred Heart in the AHA semifinals, but the Falcons returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2011.
Four Championships a Rare Feat at Academy The Air Force hockey team became the first team in Academy history to win four outright championships at the Division I level in any sport with Atlantic Hockey titles in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. The cross country team won the Western Athletic Conference championship in 1992 and 1996 and the Mountain West title in 2004. The football team tied for the WAC title in 1985 and 1995 and won the championship outright in 1998.
A Select Few AFA is one of just eight schools to compete in the NCAA Tournament in at least four of the last five years. The Falcons join Boston College, Denver, Miami, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Notre Dame. AFA has competed in the NCAA Tournament four times. In the history of collegiate hockey, just 28 schools have been to the NCAA Tournament more than Air Force.
Best Hockey at Right Time Over the past five seasons, Air Force has played its best hockey at the right time of year. From February 15 through the end of the season, Air Force is a combined 33-10-1 (76 percent).
The Rankings Air Force endd the season ranked 18th in the final USCHO.com poll, tying the highest final ranking ever in that poll. Air Force was ranked for the first time this season on March 21 as the Falcons were 20th in the USCHO.com poll. The Falcons received votes in the USA today/USA Hockey poll. The last time Air Force was ranked came in the 2009-10 preseason poll when the Falcons were 19th in the USCHO.com poll and receiving votes in the USA today/USA Hockey poll. The last time the Falcons were ranked late in the season came in the 2008-09 season when the Falcons were ranked 18th in the USCHO/CBS College Sports poll and No. 15 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. Air Force's highest ever national ranking was No. 10 in December, 2008.