Dec. 21, 2012
This Week Air Force (5-7-3 overall and 4-4-2 AHA) travels to Minneapolis, Minn., for the annual Mariucci Classic, Dec. 29-30. Air Force will face fourth-ranked Minnesota (11-3-3 overall) on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 7:05 p.m. CT. The Falcons will then play Alabama-Huntsville (3-14-1) on Sunday., Dec. 30 at 4:05 p.m. CT. The defending national champions, and the No. 1 team in the country, Boston College (11-2-1 overall), is the fourth team in the tournament.
Radio/Internet/Television Both games will be broadcast in Colorado Springs on The Sports Animal AM 1300 and on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com. Jay Ritchie will call the play-by-play while Dave Toller will provide color analysis. fà Pregame show begins 30 minutes before faceoff each day. Lve stats are available at GopherSports.com.
The Coach Head coach Frank Serratore is in his 16th season at Air Force with a record of 260-257-55 record (572 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 309-349-64 (722 games).
Family Reunion While Frank Serratore will be running the bench for the Falcons, his son, Tom, will be playing for the Minnesota Gophers. Tom Serratore is a junior forward for Minnesota who has played in all 16 games this season and is tied for third on the team with six goals. He has been on a tear recently as he scored a goal in both games at Colorado College, Dec. 7-8. fà Tom¡¦s twin brother, Tim, plays for Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Md., and is tied for second on the team with five points in 11 games.
Minnesota Connections Air Force head coach Frank Serratore (Coleraine) and assistant coach Andy Berg (Stillwater) are both Minnesota natives. Serratore and Minnesota coach Don Lucia (Grand Rapids) grew up seven miles apart. Air Force has 11 players on the roster from the state of Minnesota: Stephen Carew (Eden Prairie), Jason Fabian (Roseau), Cole Gunner, (Richfield), Scott Holm (Plymouth), John Kruse (Eden Prairie), Mike McDonald (Mahtomedi), Paul Moberg (Forest Lake), Ben Persian (Orono), Jesse Ramsey (Rogers), Mitch Torrel (Monticello) and Trevor Waldoch (Forest Lake).
AFA in the Mariucci Air Force is in the Mariucci Classic for the second time. The Falcons also competed in the tournament , Dec. 29-30, 2007. AFA fell to 14th-ranked Boston College, 8-2, in the first game. The Falcons then tied No. 12 Minnesota, 2-2 in overtime, in the consolation game.
Scouting the Golden Gophers Minnesota is ranked fourth in the nation with an 11-3-3 overall record and a 6-3-3 mark in the WCHA. fà The Gophers are 6-1-1 at home this season. Minnesota is unbeaten in the last three, including getting three points at Colorado College, Dec. 7-8. The Gophers has not played since then. fà Fifteen Gophers have been drafted by the NHL, including leading scorer junior Erik Haula who has eight goals and 22 points this season. fà Sophomore Kyle Rau has six goals and 15 points. Freshman goalie Adam Wilcox has played 91 percent of the team¡¦s minutes and has a .920 saves percentage and a 1.78 GAA.
Scouting the Chargers Alabama-Huntsville is 3-14-1 overall and is one of only two NCAA Division I independents. Early in the season, UAH won at Lake Superior State, 2-1. The Chargers' other two wins are a home sweep of Finlandia (Division III), Dec. 7-8. UAH was swept at Wisconsin, 5-0 and 4-1, on Dec. 13-14, in the team¡¦s last games before the break.
Scouting the Eagles Boston College is No. 1 in the nation with an 11-2-1 overall record and a 9-2-1 mark in Hockey East. The Eagles have not played since a 3-3 overtime tie at Providence, Dec. 7.BC;s only two losses are at Northeastern and at Boston University BC has seven players drafted by the NHL, including leading scorer sophomore Johnny Gaudreau with 11 goals and 23 points. Senior Pat Mullane has seven goals and 19 points. Senior goalie Parker MIlner, who shutout Air Force in the NCAA Tournament, has played every minute in goal and has a .923 saves percentage and a 2.20 GAA.
Series with the Gophers fà Air Force and Minnesota have only played twice and the Gophers hold a 1-0-1 lead in the series. Both meetings came just eight months apart. fà The teams first met in the 2007 NCAA West Regional in the Denver, Colo. AFA had a 3-1 lead with eight minutes left in the third, but fell to the Gophers, 4-3 fà AFA and Minnesota also met in the Mariucci Classic, Dec. 30, 2007. Minnesota led 2-1 late in the third, but after the Falcons pulled the goalie, Brent Olson scored his second of the game with 1:02 remaining to tie the game at 2-2. Neither team scored in overtime.
Series with the Chargers Air Force and Alabama-Huntsville have a long history as both competed as independents from 1984-99 and then as conference foes in College Hockey America from 1999-2006. UAH leads the overall series, 38-18-3. As independents (1984-99), the teams met 24 times and UAH held a 15-8-1 lead in the series. As CHA rivals (1999-06), the teams played 29 times and UAH led the series, 21-7-1. After Air Force left the CHA for Atlantic Hockey prior to the 2006-07 season, the teams have played six times and AFA leads the series, 3-2-1. AFA and UAH met twice last season in Huntsville, and AFA left Alabama with a tie and a win. In the first game, Cole Gunner scored a power play goal with three minutes left in the third period in the 1-1 tie. In the second game, Kyle DeLaurell scored two goals and Gunner had a goal and two assists in the 7-2 Falcon victory.
Series with the Eagles Air Force and Boston College have played six times and BC has won all six. BC and Air Force met in the 2012 NCAA Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass., and the Eagles won 2-0. Chris Kreider scored both goals for the Eagles, including a power-play goal with 1:21 left. Parker Milner made 20 saves for BC while Jason Torf made 32 for the Falcons. fà The teams met in the Mariucci Classic on Dec. 29, 2007 and the Eagles won 8-2.