Air Force hosts Bentley in conference series
Oct. 18, 2006
This Week: Air Force (1-3, 0-0 AHA) opens Atlantic Hockey Association play with a two-game series against the Bentley College Falcons (0-1, 0-0 AHA), Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21, at the Cadet Ice Arena. The face-off is at 7:05 p.m. each night.
Radio/Television/Internet: No television or Air Force radio for either game. Live stats will be available by going to GoAirForceFalcons.com and clicking on the hockey schedule.
First Conference Game: This weekend's series with Bentley marks Air Force's first ever conference game in the Atlantic Hockey Association.
Briefly about the AHA: The AHA was formed in 2003 by nine charter members, American International (AIC), Army, Bentley, Canisius, Connecticut, Holy Cross, Mercyhurst, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart. Many of the teams played in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association prior to breaking away to start the AHA. Quinnipiac left in 2004. The addition of Air Force and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for the 2006-07 season brings the number of member institutions to 10 teams.
Scouting the Opponent: Bentley (Waltham, Mass.) is 0-1 this season. The Falcons opened the season with a 5-1 loss at Colgate, Oct. 15. Freshman forward Blake Hamilton scored the team's only goal. Senior goalie Ray Jean started and played 49 minutes, allowing five goals and making 39 saves. Bentley was 15-17-5 last season and 11-12-5 for fourth place in the AHA. The Falcons were one win from reaching the NCAA Regionals, losing to top-seeded Holy Cross, 5-2, in the AHA championship game.
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 131-176-19 record at AFA and an overall mark of 180-268-28. Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist (Bentley, 2000) is in his fifth season with the Falcons with a school and career record of 19-76-15.
Last Meeting: Bentley and Air Force played last season in the first game of the Q Cup Tournament. Bentley defeated Air Force, 3-1, Oct. 14, 2005. Bentley took a 2-0 lead in the second period, but AFA defenseman Brian Gineo scored 58 seconds into the third period to make the score 2-1. Bentley's Kyle Larman scored at the 2:43 mark on the power play to make the final score 3-1.
Series Record: Air Force and Bentley have played nine times and AFA holds a 6-2-1 advantage in the series that began in 1998. AFA is 2-0 at Bentley, having swept the series in 2003 by identical 4-3 scores. After Bentley won the first meeting in 1998, 8-4, in the now-defunct Radisson Inn Classic at Air Force, AFA won six straight games from 2001-2003. The teams tied at the Q Cup in 2004, 2-2 in overtime, but Bentley won a shootout and advanced to the championship game.
Half of Scoring: Eric Ehn and Andrew Ramsey have combined to score half of the team's points this season. Ehn centers the team's top line while Ramsey skates on the left wing. The two have scored seven of the team's nine goals and 13 of the team's 26 points. Ehn has seven points (5-2-7) while Ramsey has six points (2-4-6).
Conference Openers: Since Air Force joined the College Hockey America conference in 1999-00, the Falcons are 2-11-1 in the first league series of the season and 2-5 in the first conference game of the season. Last season, the Falcons opened CHA play at home against 15h-ranked Bemidji State and the Falcons and Beavers split the series. AFA won the first game, 4-3, while BSU won the second game, 2-1.
Conference Home Openers: In the first conference home series of the season, the Falcons are 4-10. In the first conference home game, the Falcons are 2-5. The Falcons beat 15th-ranked Bemidji State, 4-3, in the first conference home game last season.
Around the Nation: Several Falcons ranks among the national leaders in various categories. Junior center Eric Ehn is on the list several times. He is tied for the national lead with three power-play goals, ranks 13th in goals per game with 1.25 and is 32nd in points with 1.75 per game. Senior winger Andrew Ramsey is 40th in points per game with 1.67 and is 34th in assists per game with 1.0. Sophomore Michael Mayra is 39th in the nation in points by a defenseman with 0.75. As a team, Air Force is 35th in scoring offense (2.25 goals per game), 37th in scoring defense (4.00), 31st in penalty minutes (18.5), 18th in power play (17.9) and 50th in penalty kill (66.7).
On Deck: Following the Bentley series, the Falcons travel to Tampa for the Lightning College Hockey Classic, Oct. 27-28, at the St. Pete Times Forum (the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning). Air Force and Alabama-Huntsville play the first game of the tournament on Oct. 27 at 5:05 p.m. ET. Notre Dame and Army play at 8:05 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 28, the consolation game is at 5:05 while the championship game is at 8:05 p.m.
Last Week: Air Force was swept in a pair of games at Alaska-Fairbanks, Oct. 13-14, by scores of 3-0 and 8-4.