Falcons travel to Dodge Holiday Classic in Minneapolis
Dec. 26, 2007
This Week Air Force (9-4-3, 7-4-3 AHA) travels to the Dodge Holiday Classic at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. The Falcons take on 13th-ranked Boston College (6-4-5, 4-3-4 Hockey East), Saturday, Dec. 29, at 4:07 pm CT. AFA will then play either 11th-ranked Minnesota or RIT on Sunday, Dec. 30, at either 4:07 pm/7:07 pm CT
Radio/Internet Both games will be broadcast on the internet at GoAirForceFalcons.com. Jay Ritchie will do the play-by-play while Dave Toller will do the color. The pregame show begins 20 minutes prior to faceoff each night.
Video Streaming/Television The Boston College game will not be televised. If Air Force plays Minnesota on Dec. 30, the game will be televised on Fox Sports North.
Recently AFA and Canisius skated to back-to-back 3-3 overtime ties at the Cadet Ice Arena, Dec. 7-8
The Coach Air Force coach Frank Serratore (Bemidji State, 1982) is in his 11th season with the Falcons and his 15th as a collegiate head coach. He has an Air Force record of 158-193-27. His overall mark is 207-285-36.
Rankings Air Force is receiving votes in both major national polls. Based on the number of votes, Air Force is 22nd in the USCHO/CSTV poll and 16th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.
Scouting The Opponents Air Force will face Boston College in the first round of the Dodge Holiday Classic, Dec. 29, in Minneapolis. The Eagles, ranked 13th/14th (USCHO-CSTV/USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine), are 6-4-5 overall and 4-3-4 in Hockey East for second place. AFA will then face either Minnesota or RIT in the second round. The Gophers, ranked 12th in both major polls, are 9-8-1 overall and 5-7-0 and in sixth place in the WCHA. The RIT Tigers are 6-6-3 overall and 5-4-3 in Atlantic Hockey and in fourth place.
Unbeaten Streak Air Force's six-game unbeaten streak (3-0-3) ties as the third-longest in the nation. Notre Dame has the nation's longest streak at nine games while Northeastern is second with an eight-game streak. Michigan State's six-gamer ties with the current Falcon streak.
Series Records Air Force and Boston College have played four times and the Eagles have won all four meetings. The teams have not played since the 1993-94 season at the Denver Cup. Boston College defeated Air Force, 5-1. Air Force and Minnesota have played just once. The only meeting was in the NCAA West Regional last season and Minnesota won, 4-3. AFA had a 3-1 lead with just over eight minutes left in the third period. Air Force and RIT have played 15 times and RIT holds a 7-6-2 lead in the series. The teams met earlier this season in Rochester and split the two-game Atlantic Hockey Association series. AFA won the first game, 2-1 in overtime. RIT won the next night, 4-3.
Most Wins Before the Break Air Force's nine wins before the holiday break ties the most in school history. Last year, Air Force was 9-8-3 at the break. AFA is currently 9-4-3. The 1974-75, 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2004-05 teams also won nine games before the break.
No Shooting In the first 10 games of the season, Air Force was outshot five times as compared to six times in 40 games last season. However, after the Holy Cross series, the Falcon defense is picking up where it left off last season. AFA has led the nation in shots allowed in each of the last two seasons, giving up just 25 shots per game. AFA is allowing just 23.2 shots per game this season. In the last eight games vs. AIC, Holy Cross, UConn and Canisius the Falcons have held their opponents to just 18 shots per game.
OT Good and Bad and Indifferent Five of Air Force's 16 games this season have already been decided in overtime and the Falcons have one win, one loss and three ties. AFA won 2-1 at RIT when Scott Kozlak scored 1:40 into the extra period, Nov. 9. The tables were turned on the Falcons against UConn, Nov. 17. With the score tied at 2-2 in overtime, Michael Coppola scored a short-handed breakaway goal for a 3-2 Husky win. AFA and Holy Cross went into overtime, Nov. 24. The Falcons outshot the Crusaders, 5-0, in the extra frame, but the game ended in a 5-5 tie. Air Force and Canisius tied twice, Dec. 7-8, at the Academy.
Get Out of the Gate In 14 league games this season, Air Force has scored first just four times. AFA is 3-0-1 in those games. When the league opponent scores first, AFA is just 4-4-2. The Falcons scored first in both games against AIC in which the Falcons won. AFA then scored first in the second game vs. Canisius which ended in a tie.