No. 17 Air Force (0-0) opens the 2017-18 regular season with a two-game road series at the University of Alaska (0-0), Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7, at 7:07 pm AT each night (9:07 pm MT)
Air Force, picked to win the AHC in both the coaches and media pool, is ranked 17th in the preseason USCHO. com.
Every home game and every Atlantic Hockey game will be streamed on AtlanticHockey.tv for a subscription fee.
The Alaska series will be streamed at www.WCHA.com for a subscription fee.
Both games will be broadcast on Xtra Sports 1300 and will be available online 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.
A Look Back
* The 2016-17 season was one of the best in Air Force history. The Falcons closed out the season with a 27-10-5 overall record, placing second in Atlantic Hockey with a 19-6-3 league mark.
* As the No. 2 seed in the AHC playoffs, the Falcons swept Bentley in a two-game quarterfinal series at home to advance to the AHC Final Four in Rochester, N.Y. for the second straight year. Air Force defeated third-seeded Army (1-0) in the semifinals and then won its sixth league title in 11 years with a 2-1 win over No. 4 seed Robert Morris in the championship game.
*At the NCAA East Regional, the Falcons defeated No. 8 Western Michigan, 5-4, before falling to No. 2 Harvard, 3-2. The trip to the Elite Eight was just the second in school history.
Air Force returns 119 goals from last season, tying as the most in the nation with Bemidji State. National champion Denver is third with 116 while league foe Canisius is fourth with 105.
Air Force returns 322 points from last season’s team, the most in the nation. Denver is second
(286) while Canisius is third (275).
In the highest percentage of returning goals from last season, Atlantic Hockey has seven of the top nine teams: 1. Canisius – 98%; 3. Army West Point – 91%; 4. Air Force – 90%; 6. AIC – 89%; 7. Holy Cross – 89%; 8. RIT – 86%; 9. Mercyhurst – 85%
Series vs. Alaska
Alaska and Air Force have played 26 times and UA leads the series, 19-5-2. Air Force’s last win over the Nanooks came in 1995, a 4-3 overtime win at the Academy. Since then, UA has an 8-0-1 record against the Falcons. The teams last me in 2014 and UA defeated the Falcons, 4-3. Air Force has never won in Fairbanks, going 0-9 against the Nanooks.
Scouting the Nanooks
Alaska opened the season with a 6-0 exhibition game victory over Simon Fraser, Sept. 29. Alaska was picked to finish eighth in the 10-team WCHA in the preseason poll. The Nanooks were 12-20-4 overall last season, were sixth in the WCHA with an 11-13-4 record and fell to Minnesota State in the WCHA quarterfinals last season. Junior Chad Staley is the team’s top returning scorer, after posting 21 points last season (8-13-21). The top two goaltenders from last season are both gone. All three Nanook goaltenders played a period against SFU in the exhibition game. Anton Martinsson made six saves, Niko DellaMaggiore made nine and freshman Tony Rehm made five.