Falcons travel to Q Cup Tournament
This Week: Air Force, 1-1 overall, travels to Northford, Conn., for the annual Q Cup Tournament, Oct. 14-15, hosted by Quinnipiac University. Air Force faces Bentley College, Friday, Oct. 14, at 4:05 p.m. EST. The Falcons will then face either Quinnipiac or RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) on Saturday in the consolation or championship game at 4:05 or 7:05 p.m.
Radio/Television/Internet: No television. The only game that may be on the radio/internet will be if Air Force faces Quinnipiac on Saturday. If so, the game will be available at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com
Home Opener: The Falcons' regular-season home opener is Friday, Oct. 21, against the two-time national champion Denver Pioneers. The faceoff is at 7:05 p.m.
Scouting the Opponents: Bentley and RIT open the season at the Q Cup. Quinnipiac is the only team, besides Air Force, to open the season last week.
Bentley returns 18 of the 24 lettermen from last season's team that was 8-20-6 overall and placed seventh in Atlantic Hockey with a 6-13-5 record.
Quinnipiac is in its first season in the ECAC Hockey League. The Bobcats return 17 of the 27 lettermen from last season's team that was 21-13-3 overall and won the Atlantic Hockey Association with a 16-6-2 record. The Bobcats opened this season at seventh-ranked Michigan and battled the Wolverines to two close losses. Michigan swept the series by scores of 3-1 and 5-3 in Yost Arena.
RIT is in its first season of Division I hockey after being a dominant force at the Division III level. RIT is in its first season in Atlantic Hockey and returns 20 of 24 lettermen from last season.
Falcons in the Q Cup: Air Force is making its fourth appearance in six years in the Q Cup. The Falcons have placed second twice and third once. Air Force's two losses in the championship game at the hands of host Quinnipiac, both by one goal and one in overtime. Below are all of Air Force's games in the tournament.
2000-01 2003-04 2004-05
Fairfield, W 5-2 Bentley, W 4-2 Bentley 2-2 ot (lost shootout)
Quinnipiac, L 2-3 Quinnipiac L 3-4 ot AIC, W 4-0
The Coaches: Air Force coach Frank Serratore (Bemidji State, 1982) is in his ninth season at Air Force and his 13th as a collegiate head coach. He has a 120-154-18 record at AFA and an overall mark of 169-246-27.
Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist (Bentley, 2000) is in his fourth season with the Falcons. He has a school and overall record of 34-58-10. Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold (Connecticut College, 1990) is in his 12th season with the Bobcats. He has a 202-118-31 school and overall record. RIT coach Wayne Wilson (Bowling Green, 1984) is in his seventh season with the Tigers. He has a school and overall record of 123-31-12.
Series Notes: Air Force and Bentley have played eight times in the last six years and the Falcons own a 6-1-1 lead in the series. The teams first played in 1998 in the Radisson Inn Classic, and Bentley won, 8-4. AFA then won six straight games, including two at home, two on the road and two at neutral sites. In the last meeting, the teams skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in the first round of last year's Q Cup. Bentley won a shootout and advanced to the championship game. Air Force and Quinnipiac have played seven times and the Falcons hold a 4-3 lead in the series that began in 1999. The teams have met five times at the Academy and twice in the Q Cup. AFA swept a series at Air Force in 2003. The Falcons blanked the Bobcats, 4-0, last season at the Academy. In the Q Cup, Quinnipiac has won both games, 3-2 in 2000 and 4-3 in overtime in 2003. RIT and Air Force have played five times and RIT has a 3-2 lead in the series. All five games were played at Air Force when RIT was a Division III program. This year will be the first meeting with RIT as a Division I program. The teams have not played since 2000. AFA swept a series in 1990 and RIT swept the series in 1995. RIT beat AFA, 4-3, in the 2000 Radisson Inn Classic at Air Force.
Falcons in Tournaments: In the last six years, the Falcons have won four tournaments and played in the championship game of two others. AFA opened this season at the IceBreaker Invitational played at the Colorado Springs World Arena and the Falcons split two games. AFA nearly upset 11th-ranked Maine in the first round before falling, 3-1. The Falcons then dominated Union, 9-2. Last season, Air Force played in three tournaments and the Falcons had a 3-2-1 record. AFA won the RPI Tournament, Nov. 26-27 (3-2 overtime win over Sacred Heart and a 1-0 win over RPI). AFA opened last season by taking the consolation at the Quinnipiac Cup (2-2 tie with Bentley and a 4-0 win over AIC). Air Force also lost two games at the 2004 Denver Cup (9-4 to Denver and 3-0 to Colgate). In 2003-04, the Falcons placed second in the Quinnipiac Cup and placed second in the UConn Tournament, losing by one goal in each championship game. In 2001, the Falcons won the UConn Tournament in Storrs, Conn., the first ever Division I tournament championship and the first ever road tourney title. Air Force won its own Radisson Inn Classic in 2001 and 2002. In the history of Falcon hockey, Air Force has played in the championship game of seven Division I tournaments. Six of those have come under Serratore in the last six seasons. AFA placed second in the UMass-Lowell tournament in 1999 and in the Q-Cup Tourney in 2000. Air Force is 27-67-2 all-time in regular-season tournaments. Under Serratore, the Falcons are 19-19-2 in regular-season tournaments.
Major Upset?: In a preseason power ranking, Air Force was picked 53rd out of 59 Division I teams. However, on opening weekend, the Falcons nearly upset 11th-ranked Maine and then routed Union, the team picked 30th in the same ranking.
Firsts: There were several firsts for the Falcons in the IceBreaker Invitational last weekend. First Points: Two Falcons recorded their first career points. Freshman left wing Josh Frider scored his first career goal in the third period vs. Union. His goal, a rebound he slid inside the far post, was the final goal of the game. Defenseman Michael Mayra was the first Falcon freshmen to score a point as he assisted on Theo Zacour's goal in the second period vs. Union. First Action: Junior goalie Ben Worker saw his first collegiate action, playing the final 6:41 of the game. He had one save and allowed one goal. First Goal: Sophomore center Josh Schaffer scored his first career goal in the Union game. He had one assist in 26 games last season. He already has two points (1-1-2) this season.
No Goals for You: In two games this season, the Falcons have not allowed a goal in the first period. The first period against Maine ended in a 0-0 tie. AFA led Union, 5-0, after one period. The Falcons have allowed just one in the second period and four in the third period this season.
Lamp Lighters: Air Force's offensive explosion against Union is something rarely seen against a Division I opponent. Air Force has scored nine or more several times against Division III opponents over the years. However, it was just the fourth time in the 38 years of Falcon hockey, Air Force scored nine or more against a Division I team. It is also ties as the second-most against a team from one of the big four conferences (Hockey East, ECAC, WCHA and CCHA). In 1972, Air Force beat Colorado College, 10-5. The Falcons scored nine vs. Army (9-6 win on 2/18/95) and nine vs. Denver (9-8 win on 2/1/77). The five goals in a period (first period vs. Union) are the most since AFA got five in the third period in a 6-4 win over Holy Cross, 6-4, Oct. 18, 2002. It is also the most goals in the first period since getting five against Fairfield in an 8-3 victory, Oct. 14, 2001.
Long List: Prior to the season opener, Frank Serratore said the Falcons would need to score by committee. The ninth-year head coach had to be happy about the Union game. Not only did the Falcons light the lamp nine times, but 15 of the Falcons' 18 skaters scored a point. Zacour and Gineo each had three points (1-2-3). Eric Ehn had two goals in the game. Eight Falcons had two points. Ehn had three goals in the tournament while Gineo had four points.
ECAC Win: Air Force's win over Union, Oct, 8, marked the second straight year, the Falcons have beaten a team from the ECAC Hockey League. Last year, Air Force beat RPI, 2-0. It also marked the third straight year the Falcons have beaten a team from one of the four major conferences. In 2003-04, AFA beat Miami from the CCHA.
Sound at Even Strength: In the IceBreaker Invitational, the Falcons allowed just two even-strength goals in 120 minutes of action. Both goals were scored by Union. One came with Air Force leading 5-0 and the other came with Air Force leading 8-1. The Falcons also did not allow a goal on a two-minute power-play during the tournament, killing all nine. The Falcons did allow three power play goals on two five-minute majors.
All-Tournament Team: Junior defenseman Brian Gineo was named to the IceBreaker Invitational all-tournament team. The South Windsor, Conn., native had four points (1-3-4) in the tournament. He assisted on AFA's only goal in the 3-1 loss to Maine and then had one goal and two assists vs. Union. It is the third all-tournament honor of his career. He also earned all-tourney honors at the RPI Tournament and the CHA Tournament last season. The IceBreaker all-tournament team consisted of forward Greg Moore (Maine), forward Derek Patrosso (CC), forward Brett Sterling (CC), defenseman Matt Duffy (Maine) , defenseman Brian Gineo (AFA), defenseman Lee Sweat (CC) and goalie Matt Zaba (CC). Patrosso was named the tournament MVP.
Last Week: Air Force fell to 11th-ranked Maine (3-1) and then beat Union College (9-2) in the annual IceBreaker Invitational at the Colorado Springs World Arena, Friday-Saturday, Oct. 7-8. The Falcons then skated to a 2-2 overtime tie with Lakehead University in an exhibition game, Oct. 10.