Falcons host AIC in Atlantic Hockey series
Nov. 14, 2006
This Week: Air Force (5-6-1, 3-2-1 AHA) hosts the American International College (AIC) Yellow Jackets (0-9-0, 0-7-0 AHA) Friday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 19 at the Cadet Ice Arena. Friday's faceoff is at 7:05 p.m. while Sunday's game starts at 5:05 p.m.
Radio/Television/Internet: Both games will be broadcast at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com on the internet only. Jay Ritchie will do the play-by-play while Dave Toller will do the color. The pregame show begins at 6:45 p.m. on Friday and 4:45 p.m. on Sunday.
Scouting the Opponents: AIC (Springfield, Mass.) is 0-9-0 this season and 0-7-0 in the Atlantic Hockey Association. The Yellow Jackets have scored just 12 goals in nine games while allowing 42. Junior forward Jereme Tendler leads the team with three goals and five points. Sophomore Coby Robinson is the team's top goaltender with a 4.02 goals-against average and a .874 saves percentage. Two of the team's last four losses have been by one goal. Last weekend, AIC lost at UConn, 4-3.
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 134-178-20 record at AFA and an overall mark of 183-270-29. AIC coach Gary Wright (Vermont, 1976) has a 237-368-43 record in his 23rd season at AIC.
Around the Nation: Several Falcons rank among the national leaders in various categories. Eric Ehn leads the nation with 13 goals, is second in points per game (1.92), is tied for tied for third in power-play goals (5) and is 44th in assists per game (.83). Andrew Ramsey is tied for third in the nation in game-winning goals (2), is 45th in points per game (1.27), 50th in assists per game (0.82), tied for 32nd in power-play goals (3). Mike Phillipich is 44th in assists per game (0.83) and 49th in points per game (1.25). Brian Gineo is 32nd in points per game by a defenseman (0.67). Goalie Ian Harper is 23rd in the nation in goals-against average (2.40) and 30th in winning percentage at (.538, 3-2-1). The Falcon offense ranks 23rd at 3.25 goals per game while the defense is 39th at 3.42 goals allowed per game. The Air Force power play ranks 27th (16.7) while the penalty kill is 56th (72.9).
Last Meeting: Air Force and AIC last met in 2004 in Springfield, Mass. AFA won both games at the Olympia Ice Center by scores of 5-4 and 2-0. AFA out-shot AIC, 92-62, in the series. Eric Ehn, then a freshman, scored the game-winner midway the third period of the first game. Peter Foster replaced an injured Ian Harper in the first period and earned the win, making 35 saves. In the second game, Foster stopped all 17 shots he faced in 2-0 shutout victory. Andrew Ramsey assisted on the game winner in the first period. Brian Gineo also scored in the game.
Series Record: Air Force and AIC have met eight times and the Falcons have won all eight games. The teams have not played since 2004 when the Falcons swept the non-conference series by scores of 5-4 and 2-0, in Springfield, Mass. The teams have not played in Colorado since 2003 when Air Force swept by identical scores of 5-1. AFA is 4-0 vs. AIC at the Cadet Ice Arena.
About the Home Stand: Air Force plays five of the next six games at home after playing six of the first 12 on the road. The Falcons host AIC, Nov. 17 and 19, Robert Morris on Nov. 26 and Sacred Heart on Dec. 1-2. The only road game is only 60 miles away at Denver on Friday, Nov. 24.
Stay Out of the Box: Air Force is among the top teams in the nation when it comes to staying out of the penalty box. Air Force is the 11th least penalized team in the nation, taking just 15.6 minutes per game. AFA's opponents have taken 25.6 minute per game this season.
Top Line: The Falcons' top line of center Eric Ehn, left winger Andrew Ramsey and right winger Mike Phillipich have combined for 23 of the team's 39 goals and 52 of the team's 111 points this season. Ehn has 23 points (13-10-23) while Phillipich (5-10-15) has 15 points and Ramsey (5-9-14) has 14.
Harper Among the Best: Junior goalie Ian Harper did not play in the first six games but has made up for lost time the last three weeks. Harper ranks 23rd in the nation in goals-against average (2.40). He came off the bench against Alabama-Huntsville at the Lightning Hockey Classic to earn his first win of the season in stopping 11 of 12 shots. He then held 11th-ranked Notre Dame to just two goals on 25 shots. His second win of the season was a shutout over RIT as he stopped all 24 shots he faced. His third win came at Canisius as he stopped 17 of the 20 shots he faced in the first game.
On Deck: Following the AIC series, Air Force faces 11th-ranked Denver on Nov. 24 at Magness Arena in Denver. The Falcons then host former CHA foe Robert Morris, Sunday, Nov. 26, at the Cadet Ice Arena.
Last Week: Air Force split a two-game Atlantic Hockey series at Canisius in Buffalo. Air Force came from behind for a 5-3 win on Saturday. Canisius beat Air Force, 4-1, on Sunday.