Air Force travels to Alaska-Fairbanks
Oct. 10, 2006
This Week: Air Force (1-1, 0-0 AHA) hits the road for the first time this season as the Falcons travel to Alaska (0-0) for a two-game series with the Nanooks. The teams play Friday-Saturday, Oct. 13-14, at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Radio/Television/Internet: No television or Air Force radio for either game. Live stats will be available at www.alaskananooks.com and go to the hockey schedule page. The game will be broadcast on the internet at http://www.uafhockey.com/radio.html.
Scouting the Opponent: Alaska (Fairbanks, Alaska) is a member of the CCHA. The Nanooks open the season against Air Force this weekend. The team has played two exhibition games this season, losing to the U.S. Under 18 team, 5-3, and beating Western Ontario, 2-1. The Nanooks were 18-16-5 overall last season and finished ninth in the CCHA with an 11-13-4 record. The team returns 16 lettermen from last season, including junior winger Kyle Greentree who had 27 points last season.
The Coaches: Air Force coach Frank Serratore (Bemidji State, 1982) is in his 10th season at Air Force and his 14th as a collegiate head coach. He has a 131-173-19 record at AFA and an overall mark of 180-265-28. Alaska coach Tavis MacMillan (Alaska-Fairbanks, 1995) is in his third year at the helm with a school and career record of 35-32-9. Last Meeting: Alaska and Air Force last played in 1997 when the Nanooks swept the Falcons by scores of 6-4 and 6-3 in Fairbanks.
Series Record: Air Force and Alaska have played 22 times and the Nanooks hold a 14-7-1 lead in the series that began in 1989. Air Force has never won in Fairbanks. The teams have played in Alaska only six times and the Nanooks swept the series in 1991, 1993 and 1997.
Serratore 100th Division I Win: With Sunday's 4-3 win over Alabama-Huntsville, head coach Frank Serratore earned his 100th Division I victory. His AFA record improved to 131-174-19 and his overall record is now 180-266-28.
Ehn Player of the Week: Junior center Eric Ehn was named the Atlantic Hockey Association offensive player of the week for his performance in two games, Oct. 6-8. Ehn, the team's leading scorer last season from Dexter, Mich., had three goals and one assist as the Falcons split a pair of home games to open the season. Ehn scored Air Force's only goal in the 2-1 loss to 13th-ranked Colorado College, Oct. 6. Two days later, Ehn had three points (2-1-3) in the 4-3 win over Alabama-Huntsville, Oct. 8. On the weekend, Ehn had eight shots, was a +2 and won 30 of the 41 faceoffs he took. On Sunday vs. UAH, Ehn recorded his 25th career assist. He also assisted on Billy Devoney's goal which gave the Falcons a lead they would never relinquish.
Tough Schedule: Air Force will face seven teams a total of 11 times that are currently listed in the current USCHO top 20 poll or receiving votes. Denver is currently ranked 11th while Colorado College is 15th. Notre Dame (potential tournament opponent), Holy Cross, Mercyhurst, Sacred Heart and Alaska are all receiving votes.
Commissioners Cup Victory: The third annual Commissioner's Cup Series began on opening weekend and the Falcons earned a victory for the Atlantic Hockey Association, with a 4-3 win over Alabama-Huntsville. The Commissioners Cup is given annually to the conference that has the most points in inter-conference games. The commissioners have designated 33 games for the series with each league playing 11 games. Air Force appears twice on the schedule, both against Alabama-Huntsville from the CHA. The AFA-UAH game at the Lightning Hockey Classic in Tampa, Oct. 27, is the other scheduled game.
Conference Opener on Horizon: Air Force's first Atlantic Hockey game is just days away as the Falcons host Bentley, Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21, at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena. That same weekend, all 10 Atlantic Hockey teams are in action against each other.
Thank You Fans!: Air Force opened the 2006-07 season with a bang as 2,995 fans packed the Cadet Ice Arena to watch the Colorado College game. The attendance is the third largest official attendance in school history. AFA began keeping official attendance, as opposed to estimated, in 1996-97. In two games this season, Air Force is averaging 1,929 fans per game in the 2,502-seat arena. The school record of 1,680 as set in 2004-05.
Shots Denied: Air Force has picked up right where it left off last season as far as denying its opponent many shots. Last season, Air Force was among the national leaders, allowing just 24.9 shots per game. The national average last season was 29. The Falcons held their opponents to 20 or less shots in six of the last 11games last season. In the first two games this season, the Falcons held 13th-ranked Colorado College and Alabama-Huntsville both to under 20 shots. CC had 19 shots while UAH had 18.
On Deck: Following the Alaska series, Air Force returns home to open Atlantic Hockey play against the Bentley Falcons, Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Last Week: Air Force split a pair of home games on opening weekend. Air Force lost to 13th-ranked Colorado College, 2-1, Friday, Oct. 6. The Falcons rebounded for a 4-3 victory over Alabama-Huntsville, Sunday, Oct. 8.