No. 11 Air Force travels to UConn Tournament
Dec. 26, 2008
This Week No. 11 Air Force (14-2-0 overall and 11-1-0 in the AHA) travels to the Toyota/UConn Classic at Freitas Arena in Storrs, Conn. Merrimack (4-8-3, 2-7-2 Hockey East) and Quinnipiac (7-5-1, 4-3-1 ECAC) will play the first game on Monday, Dec. 29 at 4:05 p.m. while Air Force will face UConn (4-11-0, 3-5-0 AHA) in a conference game at 7:15 p.m. The consolation game is Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 4:05 p.m. while the championship game follows at 7:15 p.m.
Radio/Internet Both games will be broadcast live in Colorado Springs on KCS AM 1300 and on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com. The pregame show begins 20 minutes prior to faceoff. Jay Ritchie will call the play-by-play while Dave Toller will provide the analysis. Both games will also be video streamed live with audio by the B2 Network on a subscription basis. For more information, please go to the Atlantic Hockey Association web-site at AtlanticHockeyOnline.com. No television.
Last Week Air Force split a home league series with RIT, winning 2-0 and losing 3-2 in overtime, Dec. 5-6 UConn lost a league game to Sacred Heart (5-3), Dec. 2, and then fell to UMass , 5-1, on Dec. 5 Merrimack lost a home game to Maine, 3-2, on Dec. 7. Quinnipiac defeated Providence at home, 5-2, Dec. 5.
Rankings Air Force is ranked 11th in the USCHO/CBS College Sports and 12th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. The Falcons were also 11th in the InsideCollegeHockey.com power rankings. UConn, Merrimack and Quinnipiac are unranked.
The Coaches Frank Serratore (Bemidji State, 1982) is in his 12th season as the head coach of Air Force. He has led the Falcons to back-to-back conference championships and NCAA berths. Serratore is the winningest coach in the history of Air Force hockey with a record of 184-203-30 and a career mark of 233-295-39 in his 16th year. Bruce Marshall (UConn, 1985) is in his 21st year as the head coach of the Huskies with a school and overall record of 289-294-55. Rand Pecknold (Connecticut College, 1990) is in his 15th season as the head coach with the Bobcats with a school and overall record of 270-170-43. Mark Dennehy (Boston College, 1991) is in his fourth year as the head coach of the Warriors with a school and overall record of 25-76-15.
Falcons in Tournaments Under Frank Serratore, Air Force has won four regular season tournaments and played in the championship game of three others. Air Force won the UConn Tournament in 2000-01, the team's first even Division I tournament victory. In 2004-05, the Falcons won the RPI tournament. AFA also won its own Radisson Inn Classic in 2001 and 2002. Last season, Air Force played in the Dodge Holiday Classic at Minnesota. The Falcons fell to eventual national champion Boston College in the first game, but bounced back to tie the Gophers on their home ice. In the history of Falcon hockey, Air Force has played in the championship game of eight Division I tournaments. Seven of those have come under Serratore. AFA placed second in the UMass-Lowell tournament in 1999, the Q-Cup Tourney in 2000 and Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa in 2006. Air Force is 28-71-3 all-time in regular-season tournaments. Under Serratore, the Falcons are 20-23-3 in regular-season tournaments.
Falcons in the UConn Tournament Air Force will be making its third appearance in the UConn Tournament. The Falcons won the tournament in 2001 with victories over Bentley (6-1) and Holy Cross (5-1). Air Force returned to the tournament in 2003 and placed second. The Falcons tied Sacred Heart 2-2 in overtime, but advanced to the championship game when Theo Zacour scored in a shootout to advance to the championship game. AFA lost to UConn, 1-0, in the title game. No current Air Force player has ever played in the UConn Tournament.
Scouting the Opponents UConn (Storrs, Conn.) is 4-11-0 overall and 3-5-0 in the AHA. UConn swept Army early in the season and also split with RIT and defeated Brown in late November. Freshman Marcello Ranallo leads the team with 13 points. Sophomore Andrew Olson is the top goal scorer with seven. Junior Beau Erickson is the top goaltender with a 3.84 GAA and a .886 saves-percentage. The team is allowing 2.13 goals per game while allowing 3.52. Quinnipiac (Hamden, Conn) is 7-6-1 overall and 4-3-1 in the ECAC. The Bobcats have won five of their last seven and has wins over RPI, Clarkson and Providence this season. Senior Bryan Leitsch leads the team with 17 assists and 21 points. Senior David Marshall leads the team with seven goals. Freshman Nick Pisellini and senior Bud Fisher have split time in the nets. The rookie has the best numbers with a 1.49 GAA and a .947 saves percentage, but has taken a leave of absence for personal reasons. QU has averaged 2.93 goals per game while allowing 2.21. Merrimack (North Andover, Mass.) is 4-8-3 overall and 2-7-2 in Hockey East. The Warriors are just 1-4-1 in the last six games. Merrimack owns wins over Robert Morris, Army, UMass and 15th-ranked New Hampshire. Sophomore Chris Barton leads the team with 11 points. Freshman Joe Cannata and junior Andrew Brathwaite have split time in goal and have nearly identical stats.
Series Records Air Force has faced UConn 13 times and the Falcons have won 10 of the meetings. As Atlantic Hockey opponents, the teams have split four games with a split at each site. Merrimack holds a 15-4 lead in the series vs. Air Force. However, the teams have not played since the 1997-98 season, Frank Serratore's first year at Air Force. Air Force leads the series with Quinnipiac, 6-3. Last season, Air Force swept 14th ranked Quinnipiac at the Cadet Ice Arena. Most Wins Before the Break Air Force's 14 wins before the holiday break are the most in school history. The previous record of nine wins was set six times, including last season when the team was 9-4-3 entering the break.
Nation's Top Scoring Team Air Force is the top scoring team in the nation, averaging 4.44 goals per game. Air Force has scored three or more goals in 12 of the 16 games and has scored five or more six times. Denver is second in the nation with 3.88 goals per game. Air Force's scoring margin (+3.00 goals per game) is one goal per game better than Notre Dame's +1.95, which ranks second in the nation.
Senior Greg Flynn is the top scoring defenseman in the nation with 1.38 points per game (4-18-22 in 16 games). Flynn is 11th in the nation among all players in scoring and is the only defenseman in the top 20. Flynn is also second in the nation with 18 assists. Jacques Lamoureux is second in the nation in scoring with 1.50 points per game (12-12-24). Brent Olson is tied for fifth in the nation with 1.44 points per game. Lamoureux, a center from Grand Forks, N.D., leads the nation in power-play goals (8) and is tied for the national lead in game-winning goals (4). Olson is tied for second in the nation in assists with 1.12 per game.