Falcons open season with exhibition against New Brunswick, Oct. 7
Oct. 1, 2013
Regular-Season Opener The Falcons open the regular season at the Kendall Classic in Anchorage, Alaska, Oct. 11-12. Air Force faces Alaska-Fairbanks on Oct. 11 at 5:07 AT and then meets Alaska-Anchorage on Oct. 12 at 7:07 AT.
Radio/Internet/Television Both games in Alaska will be broadcast in Colorado Springs on The 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
Back to the Great White North Air Force is back in the Kendall Classic for the second consecutive season, the third time in the last four years and the fourth time overall (1999, 2010, 2012 and 2013). Last season, Air Force skated to a pair of 3-3 overtime ties with Alaska-Fairbanks and Alaska-Anchorage. In 2010-11, the Falcons lost to 12th-ranked Alaska-Fairbanks, 5-2, and to Alaska-Anchorage, 3-2. In 2003-04, the Falcons fell to Alaska-Anchorage, 5-4, and beat No. 21 Miami-Ohio, 2-0. In 1999-2000, the Falcons fell to Boston University and Niagara. AFA is 1-5-2 all-time in the tournament
The Coach Head coach Frank Serratore enters his 17th season at Air Force with a record of 272-263-58 record (593 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 seven years. In 21 seasons as a collegiate head coach, he has an overall record of 321-355-67 (743 games).
A Quick Look Back Air Force (17-13-7, 15-7-5 AHA) finished second in the AHA with 35 points last season. The Falcons were the No. 2 seed in the AHA Tournament and earned a bye in the first round. Air Force hosted seventh-seeded Canisius in the AHA Quarterfinals, but lost in two games, 4-3 and 4-3 in overtime, March 15-16, to end the Falcons' season. Canisius went on to win the AHA Tournament and compete in the NCAA Tournament, falling to top-seeded, and eventual NCAA runnerup, Quinnipiac, 4-3. Forward Kyle De Laurell and defenseman Adam McKenzie were named first-team all-conference. McKenzie was also named the AHA Defenseman of the Year.
The First Month Following the Alaska tournament, AFA plays four straight at home beginning with a non-conference series against Big 10 foe Penn State, Oct. 18-19, at Cadet Ice Arena. AFA opens Atlantic Hockey play on Friday, Oct. 25, against Canisius at 7:05 p.m. at Cadet Ice Arena. Niagara then comes to Cadet Ice Arena on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 4:05 p.m.
Who's Back Air Force returns its starting goaltender, senior Jason Torf, and four of the top six defensemen from last season. Senior Adam McKenzie keys a defense that brings another year of maturity to the ice. A first-team all-league selection and the AHA Defenseman of the Year in 2012-13, McKenzie posted 20 points (8-12-20) in 30 games last season. The Falcons return seven of the top 10 scorers from last season. Junior Cole Gunner is the team's top returning scorer from last season with 29 points (7-22-29). He led the team in assists last season and was tied for second in points. Senior Tony Thomas was fourth on the team in points (28) and second in goals (10) last season.
Who's Gone Air Force lost 47 goals (39 percent) and 113 points (35 percent) from last season's team. Kyle DeLaurell, who led the team last season with 19 goals and 36 points, and Stephen Carew, who was second in both categories (12-17-29), both graduated. The Falcons also lost team captain John Kruse, who had 22 points (7-15-22). Defensemen Eric Artman and Mike Walsh, who each played in 29 of the team's 37 games last season also graduated.
Between the pipes Jason Torf, a four-year starter between the pipes for the Falcons, returns for his senior season. Torf was solid for the Falcons last season with a 2.36 GAA and a .918 saves percentage in all games, ranking third in the league in GAA. Torf's .918 saves percentage last season ties as the third-best for a season in school history. Torf set the AFA single-season record in 2011-12 with a .929 saves percentage. Torf's 2.41 career GAA is the third best in school history while his .916 career saves percentage is currently the best in school history. He has played in 89 career games and has a record of 41-27-13 with 2,228 career saves and nine shutouts. Andrew Volkening, a 2010 grad, holds nearly every career goaltending record with a 2.19 GAA, a .915 saves percentage and 15 shutouts in 127 career games with a record of 69-39-14. Torf currently has 2,228 career saves, to rank 10th in school history. Mike Drake (78-82) is ninth in career saves with 2,244. Mike Polidor (01-04) is eighth with 2,255 while Pat Kielb (93-97) is seventh with 2,296. Al Morrison (1971-75) holds the career saves record with 3,270.