Nov. 28, 2012
This Week Air Force (3-6-3 overall and 2-3-1 AHA) hosts a pair of Atlantic Hockey games this weekend at the Cadet Ice Arena. The Falcons host Mercyhurst (4-5-1, 4-2-0 AHA) on Friday, Nov. 30, at 7:05 p.m. MT. Air Force then hosts RIT (2-7-3, 1-4-2 AHA) on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 6:05 p.m. MT
The Coach Head coach Frank Serratore is in his 16th season at Air Force with a record of 258-256-54 record (568 games). He is the winningest coach in the history of Air Force hockey, having led Air Force to five AHA championships and five NCAA Tournaments in the last six years. In his 20th season as a collegiate head coach, he has an overall record of 307-348-63 (718 games).
Nothing Settled Last season, Air Force set a new school record with seven ties. fà Air Force already has three ties this season and has tied 10 times in the last 51 games. AFA has been to overtime four times this season and is 0-1-3 in the extra period.
Scouting the Lakers Mercyhurst is 4-5-1 overall and 4-2-0 and in fourth place in the AHA. Last weekend, the Lakers split two games at Bentley, winning the first game, 4-3, and losing the second, 5-1. fà The Lakers have played every game this season on the road and also have a win at RIT. Ryan Misiak leads the team with 10 points (3-7-10). Daniel Bahntge leads the team with four goals. Senior Max Strang and junior Jordan Tibbett have split time in goal. Strang has seen the majority of the action and has a .942 saves percentage and a 1.99 GAA. Tibbett has a .934 saves percentage and a 2.82 GAA.
Scouting the Tigers RIT is 2-7-3 overall and in ninth place in the AHA with a 1-4-2 record. The Tigers are off to their worst start since joining the AHA in 2006-07 Last weekend, the Tigers tied a home game with Clarkson, 3-3. RIT opened the season the season with a 5-4 overtime win at Michigan. However, after that win, the Tigers lost four straight. The only other win was a 3-0 victory at AIC. RIT has scored 36 goals in 12 games, but has allowed 52. fà Adam Mitchell and Jeff Smith lead the team with six goals each. Greg Noyes has five. fà Mitchell leads the team with 12 points. Junior Josh Watson and sophomore Jordan Ruby have split time in goal. Watson has seen the most action and has been the most successful, earning both wins and having a 3.22 GAA and a .900 saves percentage. Watson has started the last two games (both ties) and three of the last four.
Last Season vs. Mercyhurst Air Force and Mercyhurst played four times last season and split the season series Mercyhurst won the only game in Erie, 3-2. The teams split the series at the Academy, with AFA winning the first game, 8-0, and MC winning the second game, 2-1. The teams met in the AHA Semifinals and AFA won 5-2. fà In the playoff game, Paul Weisgarber scored two goals, including an empty-netter in the final minute to seal the win. Jason Torf made 23 saves for AFA while Max Strang made 37.
Last Season vs. RIT Air Force and RIT met four times last season and the Falcons went 3-1 vs. the Tigers RIT won the only meeting in Rochester, 3-1, in November. AFA swept the series at the Academy in February, 3-0 and 4-2. The teams met in the AHA Championship Game and the Falcons won, 4-0. Jason Fabian scored two goals in the game, including an empty-netter late in the third. Jason Torf made 34 saves in the shutout.
Series with Mercyhurst Air Force leads the all-time series with Mercyhurst, 10-9-2. Mercyhurst is one of two AHA teams to have a winning record against AFA at the Cadet Ice Arena. Mercyhurst is 6-2-1 in games played against AFA in Colorado. The teams played twice last season at AFA and split the series. MC is 9-7-2 against Air Force in the regular season. AFA has won all three meetings in the playoffs (2008, 2009 and 2012). Sixteen of the 21 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).
Series with RIT Air Force leads the series with RIT, 17-14-2. In the regular season, the series is tied at 14-14-2. AFA has won all three meetings in the playoffs. AFA has won three straight in the series, including a two-game sweep last season in Colorado. AFA has won five straight over RIT at Cadet Ice Arena and the Falcons lead the series, 11-5-2, in Colorado. As AHA rivals, AFA leads the series. 13-10-1, since the 2006-07 season.
Shooting Gallery Not the Norm A trademark of Air Force hockey the last six years has been that the Falcons do not allow very many shots on goal per game Last season, Air Force allowed just 24.7 shots per game, among the fewest in the nation However, in 12 games this season, the Falcons are allowing 30.4 shots per game Prior to this season, just eight times in the previous 42 games had Air Force allowed more than 30 shots in a game. This season, Air Force has allowed 30 or more shots six times in 12 games including a season high 43 to Holy Cross. When Air Force gave up 41 shots vs. Colorado College on Oct. 19, it was the most shots allowed by the Falcons since Mercyhurst had 43 on Feb. 18 2011 The next night, Denver had 42 shots vs. the Falcons, marking the first time since 2003 vs. Bemidji State that the Falcons allowed 40-plus shots in consecutive games. Canisius had 31 shots on Air Force in a 1-1 overtime tie on Oct. 25, marking the first time the Falcons had allowed 30 or more shots in three straight games since the end of 2010-11. Holy Cross fired a season-high 43 shots on Air Force, Nov. 2, the most shots allowed since Mercyhurst also had 43 shots on Air Force (Feb. 18, 2011) Last Saturday vs. UConn, the Huskies had 39 shots in a 3-2 overtime win.
Between the pipes Junior Jason Torf has been rock solid for the Falcons this season with a 2.38 GAA and a .923 saves percentage. In AHA games, Torf ranks second in the league with a 1.66 GAA and a .947 saves percentage. Niagara's Carsen Chubak, one of the nation's hottest goaltenders, leads the league in both categories with a 0.43 GAA and a .986 saves percentage. Torf has seen more shots this season than he has been accustomed to. Two weeks ago, against No. 19 Colorado College and No. 7 Denver, he made a combined 72 saves, the most in any two-game span in his career. In the 3-2 loss to Holy Cross, he tied his career high with 40 saves Torf has made 30 or more saves in six of the 12 games this season. Torf¡¦s 2.44 career GAA is the third best in school history while his .917 career saves percentage is currently No. 1. He has played in 62 career games and has a record of 27-20-9 with 1,594 career saves and seven shutouts. Andrew Volkening, a 2010 grad, holds every career goaltending record with a 2.19 GAA, a .915 saves percentage in 127 career games with a record of 69-39-14.