Air Force announces 2008-09 hockey schedule
Aug. 11, 2008
The Air Force hockey team opens the 2008-09 season on Sunday, Oct. 5, with an exhibition game vs. the University of Alberta at the Cadet Ice Arena. Five days later, the Falcons open Atlantic Hockey Association play and begin defense of their back-to-back league championships with a two-game-road series at Sacred Heart, Oct. 10-11, in Milford, Conn.
Air Force plays 17 regular-season home games this season. The regular-season home schedule begins Oct. 17-18 when head coach Frank Serratore's younger brother, Tom, brings the Bemidji State Beavers to the Cadet Ice Arena for a non-conference series. The Falcons host national power Colorado College on Nov. 28 and also host the Black Knights of Army on Jan. 23-24.
The Falcons finished the 2007-08 season with a 21-12-6 overall record and claimed their second straight AHA championship and NCAA appearance. AFA became the first AHA team to win back-to-back titles and were one of only two teams in the 2008 NCAA Tournament to win consecutive league championships (Boston College). Air Force finished third in the AHA regular season and defeated eight-seeded Bentley and second-seeded RIT in the AHA tournament. The Falcons then needed double overtime to beat fifth-seeded Mercyhurst, 5-4, in the AHA championship game to earn a second straight trip to "The Big Dance". For the second straight season, the Falcons put a scare into one of the nation's top teams. In 2006-07, it was top-seeded Minnesota that had to come from behind to beat the Falcons, 3-2. Last season, it was second-seeded Miami who needed overtime for a 3-2 win over Air Force in the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.
The top six scorers and 11 of the top 13 return for the 2008-09 season. Four of the team's top six defensemen and goaltender Andrew Volkening, who was on the NCAA Northeast Regional all-tournament team, return as well. Greg Flynn, a second-team all-league selection last season, will anchor the defensive corp. Senior Mike Phillipich returns for his second season as the team's captain. Senior Brent Olson and junior Jeff Hajner, who both tied for the team lead in goals last season, will serve as assistant captains.