Falcons finish season with 28-11-2 record
April 13, 2009
Final Tallies Air Force concluded the 2008-09 season with a 28-11-2 overall record. The Falcons tied for the regular-season championship with RIT with 42 points (20-6-2 Atlantic Hockey Association mark). Air Force was the No. 1 seed in the tournament after winning the third tiebreaker (goal-differential in the head-to-head four-game series). AFA then won its third straight AHA Tournament championship, earning its third straight NCAA berth. Air Force earned its first ever NCAA Tournament with with a 2-0 victory over third-ranked Michigan. The season came to an end with 3-2 double overtime loss to 10th-ranked Vermont in the regional final.
Season Highlights * School record 28 wins (28-11-2 overall, 20-6-2 AHA) * First ever AHA regular season championship * Third straight AHA tournament championship and NCAA appearance. First ever trip to NCAA Elite Eight * First ever NCAA tournament win with a 2-0 shutout over third-ranked Michigan in NCAA East Regional * Two wins over teams ranked in top three in the nation (Colorado College and Michigan), a school record * Opened the season 13-0 and rose to No. 10 in the nation, the highest national ranking in school history and highest ever by a team not in one of the "Big Four" conferences * AFA set a new school record with 12 wins away from home this season * AFA's average regular-season attendance set a school record, averaging 2,630 per game. The attendance was 105 percent of the Cadet Ice Arena's 2,502 capacity, the highest percentage of any team in the nation * AFA was 16-4 at home this season, the most Division I home wins in school history * Two Falcons earned All-American honors (Lamoureux and Flynn), a school record * Lamoureux was a first-team InsideCollegeHockey.com (INCH) and second-team RBK/East All-American (coaches). Flynn was a third-team INCH All-American * Four players (Volkening, Lamoureux, Bertsch and Flynn) named to NCAA all-tournament team, school record * Five Falcons (Volkening, Lamoureux, Flynn, Fairchild and Mathis) earned all-conference honors, a school record * Lamoureux was the AHA Player of the Year while Flynn was the Defenseman of the Year * Four Falcons (Volkening, Flynn, Mathis and Fairchild - MVP) earned AHA all-tournament honors * Volkening was one of only two goalies to play every minute of every game this season. He ranked second in the nation with 28 wins and sixth with a 1.97 goals-against average. He set new school records for wins, GAA, saves percentage (.920), season shutouts (6) and career shutouts (11) * Lamoureux led the nation with 33 goals this season, the seventh most in school history and most in 29 years * Lamoureux was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, the second Falcon and second service academy player ever among the top 10 * Josh Frider set a new school record by playing in 151 career games * Mike Phillipich was a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, recognizing excellence in academics,athletics, character and leadership * Phillipich won the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award, honoring the consummate team player. The award is named for the former Army hockey captain who was killed in action in 2005 * Greg Flynn was named the Most Valuable Male Athlete at the NCAA Skills Challenge at the Frozen Four in Washington, D.C. He was the third consecutive Falcon in the event joining Andrew Ramsey (2007) and Eric Ehn (2008). * Volkening's 262 consecutive shutout minutes (12 straight shutout periods) school records * Flynn was the top scoring defenseman in the nation with 42 points (7-35-42). He is the first Air Force defenseman to have back-to-back seasons of 30 or more points in 14 years
Three-Peat Air Force became the first team in Atlantic Hockey Association history to win three straight championships. The Falcons defeated Bentley, 3-0, in the AHA semifinals on March 20. The Falcons then defeated Mercyhurst 2-0 to win the title. Including the AHA quarterfinal round, AFA outscored its opponents, 18-8, in the five games. AFA is the only team in league history to shutout its opponents in the semifinals and championship games. Air Force was the only team in this year's NCAA Tournament to win three consecutive conference championships.
One of Six Air Force was one of just six teams in the nation to go to three straight NCAA Tournaments, joining North Dakota, New Hampshire, Notre Dame, Michigan and Miami. The Falcons are the only team in the field to win three straight conference tournament titles.
Rankings Air Force ended the regular season ranked 14th in the PairWise, AFA's highest finish ever. The Falcons were ranked 18th in the USCHO/CBS College Sports poll and No. 15 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll entering the NCAA Tournament.
Back-to-Back-to-Back Rare Feat at Academy The Air Force hockey team became the first team in Academy history to win three straight conference championships at the Division I level in any sport. In fact, the three conference championships tie as the most outright titles in AFA history. 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.
School-Record Two All-Americans Two Falcons earned All-American honors this season, the most in school history. Prior to this season, Eric Ehn was the first and only All-American in school history (2007). Jacques Lamoureux was a first-team InsideCollegeHockey.com (INCH) and second-team RBK/East All-American by the coaches. Greg Flynn was a third-team INCH All-American.
School-Record 28 Division I Wins Air Force's 28 wins are the most in school history. The previous record of 25 wins was set in 1971-72. The previous record for Division I wins was set last season. The back-to-back 20-win seasons (21 in 2007-08) are also a school record.
This year's senior class of Greg Flynn, Josh Frider, Michael Mayra, Brent Olson and Mike Phillipich have seen the greatest transformation in Air Force hockey history. As freshmen then won 11 games and lost in the play-in game of the College Hockey America. Then, in the next three years they won three AHA tournament championships, one AHA regular-season title and played in three straight NCAA Tournaments, including a win over Michigan in the NCAA East Regional to advance to the Elite Eight. AFA's record over the last three years is 68-39-13. The senior class graduates with a 79-59-14 record.