Falcons travel to Ledyard Bank Classic at Dartmouth
Dec. 24, 2013
Air Force (7-5-4, 4-2-3 AHA) travels Hanover, N.H., for the annual Ledyard Bank Classic hosted by Dartmouth. The Falcons will face the 16th-ranked Northeastern Huskies (10-5-2 overall and 4-4-1 Hockey East) on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 4:05 p.m. ET. Air Force will then meet either fifth-ranked Providence (12-2-3, 6-2-1 Hockey East) or Dartmouth (2-10-0, 2-8-0 ECAC Hockey) in the championship/consolation game on Monday, Dec. 30. The time of the game will either be at 4:05 p.m. or 7:05 p.m. ET depending on the results from the previous day.
All games will be broadcast in Colorado Springs on The Animal AM 1300 and on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com. Jay Ritchie will call the play-by-play. Dave Toller will be the color analyst. Pregame show begins 30 minutes before faceoff each day.
Live stats will be available at www.ecachockey.com/composite for all four games of the tournament.
All four tournament games will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network at www.ivyleaguedigitalnetwork.com/ivyleague/schedule?tid=5. The ILDN is a subscription-based service. A single-game pass is $9.95 while a monthly pass is $10.95. Fans will have to cancel their subscription after the event or they will continue to be charged for each subsequent month.
Head coach Frank Serratore is in his 17th season at Air Force with a record of 279-268-62 record (609 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 seven years. In 21 seasons as a collegiate head coach, he has an overall record of 328-360-71 (759 games).
Defending the Home Ice
Air Force’s six-game home unbeaten streak (5-0-1), the longest since the Falcons had a seven-game winning streak in the record-setting 2008-09 season, ended with a 4-2 loss to Bentley on Nov. 29.
Air Force is 5-1-2 at home this season. Prior to going just 9-6-2 at home last season, AFA won 11 home games in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Providence is ranked fifth in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and the USCHO.com poll. Northeastern is ranked 16th in the USCHO.com poll and is receiving vothes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top 15 poll.Neither Air Force or Dartmouth are ranked or receiving votes.
Air Force has not played a game for 22 days, since back-to-back ties at Holy Cross on Dec. 6-7. The break for finals and holidays is standard as Air Force had a 27-day break last season, a 26-day break in 2010-11 and a 21-day break in 2009-10 and a 23-day break in 2008-09
Chad Demers leads the team with seven goals, 12 assists and 19 points. Demers has scored a point in 12 of the last 15 games. Demers is seventh in the AHA in all games in points (19), eighth in goals (7) and fifth in assists (11). Cole Gunner is second on the team with 11 assists and 16 points. He is tied for second with five goals. Gunner has scored in 11 of the last 15. Gunner is tied for seventh in the AHA in points and assists, and is tied for the league lead with two game-winners in all games. Scott Holm is tied for seventh in the AHA with three power-play goals. Alex Halloran is fifth in the AHA in points by a defenseman (2-7-9) while Dan Weissenhofer is eighth (0-7-7). Jason Torf made a season-high 39 saves and recorded his 10th career shutout in the 2-0 win over RIT, Nov. 1. Torf ranks fifth in the AHA in goals-against average with a 2.67. His .914 saves percentage is fifth in the league while his .562 winning percentage is second.
Air Force is making its fourth trip to the Ledyard Bank Classic at Dartmouth, previously named the Auld Lang Syne Tournament. Air Force is 0-6 all-time in the tournament. In 1998, the Falcons fell to Dartmouth 8-1 and Mankato State, 7-3. In 1984, Air Force lost to Dartmouth, 5-4 in double overtime, and to Vermont, 3-1. In 1979, Air Force lost to Dartmouth, 7-3, and to Maine, 6-1. Air Force is a combined 1-24 vs. the teams in this year’s tournament field. Series vs. Northeastern Huskies Air Force and Northeastern will meet for the 11th time and the Huskies have won all 10 previous meetings. The teams have not met since 1996 when the Huskies swept the Falcons at the Cadet Ice Arena. AFA is 0-2 vs. Northeastern on neutral ice.
Series vs. Dartmouth Big Green
Air Force and Dartmouth have played five times and the Big Green have won all five meetings. The teams have not played since the 1998-99 season when the Big Green beat the Falcons, 8-1, in New Hampshire. The teams have met three times in the Dartmouth tournament and twice at the Academy.
Series vs. Providence Friars
Air Force and Providence have played 10 times and Providence leads the all-time series, 9-1-0. The teams have not played since 1996 when Providence swept the Falcons at the Academy The Falcons and Friars have met once on neutral ice, a 5-3 Friar win at the RPI Tournament in 1988.
Scouting the Northeastern Huskies
Northeastern (Boston, Mass.) is ranked 16th in the nation in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll and is receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Top 15 poll. The Huskies are 10-5-2 overall and 4-4-1 in the Hockey East conference, tied for fourth. Northeastern is unbeaten in the last six games (4-0-2). The Huskies last played on Dec. 17, a 3-0 win at Vermont. Northeastern has not lost since a 4-1 loss at New Hampshire on Nov. 16. Sophomore forward Kevin Roy leads the team, and ranks ninth in the nation in points, with 24 (13-11-24). Roy is fourth in the nation in goals. Junior Clay Witt has seen the majority of time in the net and has a 1.97 GAA and a .945 saves percentage. He ranks third in the nation in saves percentage and 12th in the nation in GAA.
Scouting the Dartmouth Big Green
Dartmouth (Hanover, N.H.) is 2-10-0 overall and 2-8-0 in the ECAC Hockey League for 11th place. The Big Green have lost two straight, falling at Brown, 3-2 in overtime, and at No. 6 Union, 3-2, prior to the holiday break. Before the two losses, Dartmouth defeated Harvard, 2-1 at home, and won at Yale, 4-1. Junior forward Eric Haley leads the team with seven goals and 10 points. Senior Cab Morris and sophomore Charles Grant have split time in the nets. Grant has started the last four games and has an overall record 2-5-0 record with a 3.49 GAA and a .894 saves percentage.
Scouting the Providence Friars
Providence (Providence, R.I.) is ranked fifth in the nation in both the USCHO.com and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. The Friars are 12-2-3 overall and 6-2-1 in Hockey East, tied for first. The Friars are unbeaten in the last five games and have lost just once in the last 11 games, a 3-2 overtime loss to New Hampshire. Junior forward Ross Mauermann leads the team with 25 points (12-13-25). He ranks seventh in the nation in goals and eighth in points. Sophomore Jon Gillies has a .941 saves percentage and a 1.88 GAA. He ranks sixth in the nation in saves percentage and seventh in GAA.