Air Force travels to RIT and Mercyhurst
Oct. 31, 2013
This Week Air Force (4-2, 2-0 AHA) travels east for a pair of Atlantic Hockey games. The Falcons face RIT (0-3-2, 0-0-0 AHA) on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7:05 p.m. ET at Ritter Arena in Rochester, N.Y. Air Force then travels to Erie, Pa., to face Mercyhurst (1-5-1, 0-0-0 AHA) on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:05 p.m. ET at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
The Streak Air Force has won four straight games, all at home, the longest winning streak since the Falcons won five straight in the middle of the 2011-12 season. The four-game winning streak ties as the second longest active streak in the nation. Lake Superior State also has won four straight. Quinnipiac has the nation's longest winning streak at six games.
Scouting the Tigers RIT is 0-3-2 overall this season and is 0-0-0 in the AHA. The Tigers opened the season with a pair of losses to Colgate and Michigan. The Tigers are coming off consecutive ties on the road. After a 3-3 overtime tie at Clarkson (Oct. 19), the Tigers and Penn State skated to a 3-3 overtime tie. Senior Michael Colavecchia leads the team with four goals and six points. Junior Jordan Ruby has played every minute in goal and has a 3.89 GAA and a .882 saves percentage.
Scouting the Lakers Mercyhurst is 1-5-1 overall this season and 0-0-0 in league play. Mercyhurst opened the season at the Icebreaker Tournament in Minneapolis. The Lakers fell to Minnesota, 6-0, and Clarkson, 5-2. The team's only win came in a split at Merrimack with a 3-2 victory. Last weekend, the Lakers lost 5-4 and tied 3-3 at Alaska. Junior Matthew Zay leads the team with seven points (3-4-7). Senior Daniel O'Donoghue has six points (3-3-4). Juniors Jimmy Sarjeant and Jordan Tibbett have split time in goal. Sarjeant has the team's only win and has the better numbers with a 2.99 GAA and a .909 saves percentage.
Series vs. the Tigers Air Force leads the all-time series vs. RIT, 19-15-3. In the regular season, AFA has a 17-15-2 lead. The Falcons have a 3-0 record vs. RIT in the playoffs. More than one-third of the games (13 of the 37) have gone into overtime. Of those 13 games, AFA has won six, RIT has won four and three have ended in a tie. 30 of the 38 games have been decided by two goals or less AFA has won five of the last six in the series. Air Force and RIT have met 14 times at Ritter Arena and the Tigers hold a 10-4-1 lead in the series. Last season's 5-3 win at RIT, broke a five-game winless skid for Air Force at Ritter (0-4-1). As AHA rivals, AFA leads the series. 16-11-2, since the 2006-07 season. Last season, Air Force took two of three from RIT. AFA won 3-2 in overtime at the Academy in December. In Rochester in February, the teams split with Air Force winning, 5-3 in game one, and RIT winning game two, 2-1
Series vs. the Lakers Air Force and Mercyhurst have played 24 times and Air Force leads the series, 11-10-3. In games played in Erie, AF leads the series, 6-3-2. The teams have met three times in the playoffs and AFA has won all three. 19 of the 24 games have been decided by two goals or less. The series has been tight since its beginning in 2007 as just once during the series has a team won more than two straight games (Mercyhurst won three in 2007). Last season, Air Force and Mercyhurst played three times and the season series was deadlocked at 1-1-1. Mercyhurst beat Air Force, 5-4, at the Academy last November. In Erie in February, AFA won the first game, 4-2, and the teams tied in finale, 2-2.
Last Season vs. RIT Air Force took two of three from RIT last season. Air Force won, 3-2 in overtime, at the Academy, Dec. 2. After falling behind 2-0, early in the second period, the Falcons battled back to tie the game. Scott Holm and Tony Thomas scored in the second for a 2-2 tie. Stephen Carew scored the game-winner 61 seconds into overtime. Josh Watson made 24 saves for RIT while Jason Torf made 22 for the Falcons. AFA was 1-for-9 on the power play while RIT was 0-for-2. The teams split the series in Rochester, Feb. 22-23. Air Force won the first game, 5-3. The game see-sawed back and forth with the Falcons taking a 3-2 lead early in the third period. Tony Thomas scored an empty-netter with 1:21 remaining and then RIT's Matt Garbowsky scored an extra-attacker goal with 53 seconds left to cut the Falcon lead to 4-3. Kyle De Laurell scored a empty-netter to seal the 5-3 win with 27 seconds left. Torf made 21 saves while Jordan Ruby made 30 for RIT. In the series finale, RIT defeated Air Force, 2-1, in a tight game that saw just 47 combined shots. Adam McKenzie scored first for the Falcons while Jeff Smith tied the game in the first period. Garbowsky scored the game-winner in the second period. Ruby and Torf each had 22 saves.
Last Season vs. Mercyhurst
Air Force and Mercyhurst played three times and split the season series, 1-1-1.
The teams first met at the Academy, Nov. 30, and Mercyhurst won 5-4. Air Force led 3-0 in the first period, but Mercyhurst came back for a 4-3 lead late in the second. Cole Gunner, two goals in the game, tied the game early in the third, but Grant Blakey scored the game-winner midway through the third. Jordan Tibbett replaced Max Strang in goal five minutes into the game and stopped 24 of 25 shots and earned the win. Torf made 34 saves as the Falcons were outshot, 39-31.
Air Force earned three points in the series in Erie, Feb. 8-9. In the first game, Mercyhurst took a 2-0 lead, but Max Hartner scored the first two goals of his career to tie the game in the second. Scott Holm's power-play goal was the game-winner and Jason Fabian added an empty-netter. Strang made 30 saves for the Lakers while Torf made 19 for the Falcons.
In the second game, the teams skated to a 2-2 overtime tie. Two power-play goals by Kyle De Laurell gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead in the third. Laker Nick Jones tied the game with 2:26 remaining. Strang made 35 saves while Torf made 26.