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  • Hockey: Air Force a close second in coaches poll

    Tue, September 20, 2011 by admin with 12 comments

    As usual, Air Force is picked to be near the top of the Atlantic Hockey Association with rival the Rochester Institute of Technology, the league announced Tuesday at its annual media day.

    RIT, the 2010-11 regular season champs, was picked to repeat while the Falcons, the postseason winner, was second by one point in the coaches preseason poll. Both squads received five first-place votes out of a possible 12.

    Falcons coach Frank Serratore likes the respect shown, but the real goal is not the regular-season title, but the playoff championship, which means an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

    “Our goal right now is to finish in the top four and get the home ice bye in the playoffs,” he said. “Sure we’d like to win the league but the playoff title is first and foremost.”

    Air Force has won the league playoff title and advance to the NCAAs four out of the past five seasons.

    Serratore also affirmed that Air Force is happy staying in the AHA after an offseason full of conference realignments that included Colorado College helping form the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

    “It’s flattering to be the attractive girl everyone wants, but at the end of the day you have to decide if you’d be better off,” Serratore said. “If Air Force wanted to be in a different league we’d already be there or have helped create one.”

    Atlantic Hockey Association

    Coaches preseason poll

    Team                Pts. 1st-place votes

    1. RIT              113      (5)

    2. AFA            112      (5)

    3. Holy Cross 103        (2)

    4. Niagara        89

    5. UConn         79

    6. Robert Morris 70

    7. Mercyhurst   59

    8. Army            51

    9. Canisius        42

    10. Bentley       41

    11. Sacred Heart          20

    12. AIC           13

  • Hockey: Two games will be on CBS College Sports

    Thu, September 1, 2011 by admin with 2 comments

    Two Friday Air Force hockey games will be broadcast nationwide by CBS College Sports this upcoming season. The 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at Army and the 8 p.m. home game against the Rochester Institute of Technology on Feb. 3 will be shown.

    It is the sixth year in a row a Falcons-Knights game will be on the network.

    “This is very exciting news,” Air Force coach Frank Serratore said in a press release. “These games provide us with an opportunity to be seen by our fans all around the country as well as our alumni and service people stationed all over the world.”

  • Hockey: Top line taking shape

    Mon, August 9, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Senior forward Derrick Burnett was featured by Inside College Hockey as a player to watch for this upcomingseason. Coach Frank Serratore will pair Burnett with Jacques Lamoureux once again (they combined for 75 points last season) while looking to bring a strong forechecker in as the third piece of the top line.

    Also, INCH featured a player they’ll look to torch this season: UConn sophomore goalie Garrett Bartus

  • Hockey: Team award winners announced

    Sat, April 3, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Air Force hockey announced its major award winners for the 2009-10 season at its annual awards banquet Saturday afternoon. As is usually the case with players and coaches saying goodbye to each other and their fans, it was an emotional time.

    “You see the accomplishments that this class (2010) made and you can’t help but get emotional,” coach Frank Serratore said.

    Serratore praised the 2010 class, which recorded winning seasons all four years, one short of the academy record.

    “The (incoming) players have to look at those banners you put up in the north end of the arena,” he told the 500-plus people on hand. “The bar has been raised. ”

    Here are the awards, listed alphabetically. Biographical information provided by Air Force sports information:

    Jim Bowman award (top scholar athlete): Senior forward Matt Fairchild, Ashburn. Va.; He was on dean’s list every semester and the superintendent’s list three times. He carries a 3.55 overall grade point average and has a 3.68 GPA in his major of systems engineering management. An assistant captain this season, he is also a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award. He also holds the school record with 155 career games played and tied the school record with seven career short-handed goals.

    Most Improved Player:Junior forward Matt Becker, Moorhead, Minn.  Becker played in just 10 career games entering this season. This year, he played in 29 games and had a career best eight points with one goal and seven assists. His work ethic and determination put his name in the lineup every night in the second half of the season.

    John Matchefts Award (Freshman of the Year):Forward Kyle De Laurell, Colorado Springs. He saw action in 36 of the 37 games and was the top scoring freshman on the team with 18 points on six goals and 12 assists. He ranked fifth on the team in scoring by all players and was the 10th in Atlantic Hockey in points by a freshman.

    Larry Cronk Award (most inspirational player):Fairchild.

    Defensive Player of the Year:Sophomore defenseman Tim Kirby, Austin, Minn.  Kirby was a first-team all-conference selection as he was one of the top scoring defensemen in the league. He led the team with a +6 and had 24 points on five goals and 19 assists. He scored three game-winning goals this season, all coming in the final three minutes of a game or in overtime.

    Chuck Delich Award (most valuable player):Senior goalie Andrew Volkening, Genoa, Ill. He is only the second three-time winner of this award, joining goalie Kim Newman (1969-71). He holds nearly every goaltending record at the Air Force Academy, including season and career wins, season and career saves percentage, season and career goals-against average and season and career shutouts. A second-team all-conference selection this season, he was among the league leaders with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .918 saves percentage. He will compete in the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge on Friday, April 9, in Detroit, Mich.

    Vic Heyliger Award (dedication, character and leadership):Senior forward Jeff Hajner, Las Vegas;  Hajner battled through injuries, not only this season but most of his career, and still set the school record with 150 consecutive games played. An assistant captain as a junior, he wore the “C” this season and his leadership was critical to the team’s success. The center from Las Vegas finished his career in the top 35 in career scoring with 111 points in 151 games.

  • Friday Morning Links

    Fri, February 19, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Grabbing some coffee and waiting for The Tiger Show …

    Air Force opened spring football practice yesterday afternoon.

    One of the most important tasks facing the Falcons is rebuilding the offensive line (which will contain five new starters). My article in today’s edition of The Gazette focuses on the line and includes some other tidbits from practice.

    Moving to the ice, Air Force hockey plays at RIT this weekend, and coach Frank Serratore says this is the beginning of the playoffs for the Falcons.

  • Sunday Morning Links

    Sun, February 7, 2010 by admin with 2 comments

    Happy Super Bowl.

    One of the greatest days of the year. I like the Colts to win by about a touchdown. The BlogDog likes the Saints. I don’t think I have to tell you who is more trustworthy on these kinds of things.

    Gloomy day at the Falcon Athletic Center yesterday. First, the men’s basketball team turns in a horrendous performance against TCU, losing, 65-51. You can find my “Rapid Reaction” in the post below and my notebook, which discusses some ugly numbers, here. Also, Gazette columnist David Ramsey had some quick thoughts on the game in his blog (http://daveramseysez.freedomblogging.com/). Ramsey also will be writing a column about the basketball program that will appear in Monday’s paper and should hit the internet some time today.

    Meanwhile, at Cadet Ice Arena last night, Air Force lost in overtime to Denver, 2-1, on an unlucky bounce. Still, Ramsey writes that Falcons coach Frank Serratore was pleased by what he saw from his team this weekend.

  • Hockey: Serratore explains the three levels of fighting

    Sun, January 17, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Click here for Gazette columnist David Ramsey’s blog item on fighting with comments from Air Force coach Frank Serratore.

  • Tuesday Morning Links

    Tue, November 10, 2009 by admin with no comments

    I wrote for today’s edition of The Gazette about Brandon Geyer, Air Force’s senior punter who was named the Mountain West Conference special teams player of the week on Monday.

    One of the main points of the story was that Geyer always has been able to punt for distance, but he has greatly improved his hang time this season.

    Consider: Geyer (granted, with just nine punts in backup duty) averaged 48.9 yards per punt last season, 10 yards more than starter Ryan Harrison.

    But the kicks too often had too low a trajectory. Last season against Wyoming, the one game he handled all the Falcons’ punting duties, he averaged 50.3 yards per punt. But his net punt (which takes into account touchbacks and returns) was just 37.6.

    Saturday against Army, he averaged 48.2 yards on six punts, and his net punt was 46.7. That’s outstanding.

    Falcon5410 left a comment asking if Geyer can earn All-Mountain West Conference honors. I would say absolutely. Geyer ranks third in the league in punting average (43.1) and the Falcons rank second in net punt.

    One thing I need to check is how many times Geyer has pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line. He’s been great with that.

    Also in today’s paper, hockey writer Joe Paisley’s story about Falcons coach Frank Serratore receiving another five-year contract.