Falcons host RIT, Dec. 30-31
This Week: Air Force (3-9, 2-2 College Hockey America) hosts RIT (5-11-1) in a two-game, non-conference series, Dec. 30-31 at the Cadet Ice Arena. Friday's faceoff is at 7:05 while Saturday's is at 7:35 p.m.
Radio/Television/Internet: No television or radio for the RIT series. See page two of this release for more.
Series Notes: Air Force and RIT have played six times and the Tigers hold a 4-2 advantage in the series. Air Force swept the first meeting between the teams in 1990 at the Academy by scores of 5-4 in overtime and 6-3. Since then, RIT has won four straight in the series. RIT swept the Falcons at the Academy in 1995 (4-3 and 2-0). The teams also played in the championship game of the Radisson Inn Classic at the Academy in 2000, and RIT won 4-3. Earlier this season, RIT beat Air Force, 5-2, in the consolation game of the Quinnipiac Cup.
Last Time vs. RIT: RIT beat Air Force, 5-2, earlier this season at the Q Cup. The teams traded goals in the first and second periods. Mike Knaeble scored a short-handed goal and Jay Medenwaldt scored even strength for a 2-1 lead. RIT tied the game late in the second period. The Tigers scored on the power play early in the third for a 3-2 lead. RIT added empty-net goals with 1:31 remaining and with 12 seconds left.
Scouting the Opponents: RIT (Rochester [N.Y.] Institute of Technology) is playing as a Division I independent this season and will join Air Force in the Atlantic Hockey conference next season.The Tigers are 5-11-1 overall this season. Along with Air Force, RIT owns wins over St. Lawrence, Canisius, American International and SUNY-Geneseo and tied Robert Morris. RIT beat Division III SUNY-Geneseo, 6-1, and then lost to RPI, 10-7, Dec. 9-10. RIT is off until the Air Force series, Dec. 30-31.
Best CHA Start: Air Force's 2-2 start in CHA games this season matches the best conference start in school history. With four league points, the Falcons are four points behind second-place Bemidji State and are tied with Alabama-Huntsville for third. Air Force also started the CHA season 2-2 last season by getting swept at Alabama-Huntsville and then sweeping at Robert Morris. AFA's other starts in CHA play are 0-4 in 2003-04; 1-3 in 2002-03; 0-4 in 2001-02; 1-2-1 in 2000-01; 1-3 in 1999-00 (the first season in the CHA).
Scoring Explosion: Prior to the Wayne State game, Air Force had scored just four goals in three games. However, against Wayne State the Falcons exploded for 10 goals in the series. AFA scored seven goals in the second game and had 44 shots. The goals and shots are the second most of the season as the Falcons had nine goals and 45 shots against Union.
On a Tear: Sophomore center Eric Ehn is on a tear recently. Ehn earned CHA Offensive Player of the Week honors, Dec. 3, as he scored four goals and had seven points in the Wayne State series. He had career-bests of four goals and seven points in the series. In his last three games, Ehn has nine points and five goals, dating back to Army, Nov. 12.
Nationally Speaking: With his recent tear, Ehn has cracked into the top 10 in the nation in goals. With nine goals in 12 games, Ehn is tied for 10th in the nation in goals per game with 0.75.
On Deck: Air Force returns to CHA action as the Falcons travel to Alabama-Huntsville, Jan. 6-7.