Jan 8, 2014 9:00 AM by Jordan Mason
Air Force (10-6-4, 5-3-3 AHA) travels to West Point, N.Y., for a two-game Atlantic Hockey Association series against the Army Black Knights (3-14-0, 3-10-0 AHA), Friday-Saturday, Jan. 10-11, at Tate Rink. Friday's game will start at 6:05 p.m ET while Saturday's game will start at 7:05 ET.
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.
All AHA games and all Air Force home games will be video streamed live on AmericaOne.com.
Friday's game at Army will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network. Eric Frede and Jim Paradise will call the game while Ryan Cruthers will be the rinkside reporter.
Head coach Frank Serratore is in his 17th season at Air Force with a record of 282-269-62 record (613 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 331-361-71 (763 games).
Chad Demers leads the team with nine goals, and is tied for the team lead with 22 points in 20 games. Demers has scored a point in 14 of the last 19 games. He had two points in the first game at AIC last weekend. Demers is ninth in the AHA in all games in points (6-7-13) and is eighth in goals league games only.
Cole Gunner leads the team with 15 assists and is tied for the team lead with 22 points. Gunner has scored in six straight games and in 14 of the last 19. Gunner is tied for 14th in the league in points (3-8-11) and is 10th in assists in league games only. Gunner had four points (1-3-4) in the AIC series.
Alex Halloran is tied for fourth in the AHA in points by a defenseman (2-9-11) in all games while Dan Weissenhofer is 12th (0-7-7). Halloran has four points (2-2-4) in his last five games.
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 fourth in the AHA in goals-against average with a 2.59. His .914 saves percentage is sixth in the league while his .611 winning percentage is third. Torf suffered a groin injury in the third period of AFA's 3-2 win over No. 4 Providence and did not play against AIC. He is doubtful against Army.
Sophomore Ben Carey, who has centered the second line this season and had seven points, is doubtful with a left shoulder injury suffered against Providence.
Series vs. the Black Knights
Air Force and Army have played 57 times and AFA?holds a 32-20-5 lead in the series that began in 1976.
AFA is 5-1-2 vs. Army in the last eight games.
Just six of the 57 games have gone into overtime (ties in 1990, 1999, 2010, 2012 and 2013 and an Army win in 2005).
Fifteen games have been decided by one goal and 10 by two goals.
In games when there were four or more combined goals, AFA?is 29-11-5. In games when less than four combined goals are scored, Air Force is 3-9.
As AHA rivals, the teams have played 17 times and Air Force has an 9-5-3 lead in the series beginning in 2006-07.
The teams have played 14 times in the AHA regular season and AFA leads the series 6-5-3. AFA is 3-0 vs. Army in the playoffs (2007 Championship Game and two games in the 2010 Quarterfinals).
Air Force took three points from Army last season at the Cadet Ice Arena with a 4-1 win and a 3-3 overtime tie.
Air Force is 11-13-2 all-time against Army in games played in West Point. The teams last played at West Point in 2012 and Air Force took three points with a 3-3 overtime tie and a 4-2 win.
u Note: There has always been a discrepancy in the series records according to Army and Air Force. In 1969, AFA's first season of varsity hockey, the Falcons and Black Knights played twice in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Army won by scores of 12-4 and 8-0. The games are reflected in Army's series record (22-31-4 vs. AFA), but have not been counted by Air Force (31-20-4 vs. Army). According to Air Force records, the games were considered exhibition games and were not on the team's original schedule or final results that season.
Scouting the Black Knights
Army is 3-14-0 overall this season and 3-10-0 in AHA play. The Black Knights have lost three straight after getting swept at home by Mercyhurst last weekend by identical 3-1 scores. Army's last win was a 2-0 victory over Canisius on Dec. 7. Army's two other victories came on the road at Sacred Heart and at AIC, in overtime. Army is 1-7 at home this season. Sophomore forward Shane Hearn leads the team with nine points. Freshman forward C.J. Carlisle leads the team with six goals. Junior Rob Tadazak is the team's top goaltender with a .874 saves percentage and a 4.33 GAA. Army is averaging 2.00 goals per game and is allowing 4.59 per game, both rank 11th in the AHA.
Last Season vs. Army
Air Force took three of four points in the series at the Air Force Academy. In the first game, Kyle De Laurell scored his second career hat trick as Air Force beat Army, 4-1. Air Force opened the scoring at the 8:29 mark on a goal by Ben Carey. In the second period, Air Force scored two goals in the final six minutes of the period and both were redirects from Kyle De Laurell. Late in the third period, De Laurell netted his third of the game on the power play for a 4-0 lead. Thirty seconds later, the Black Knights broke up the Falcons' bid for a shutout. With 3:57 remaining, Army's Shane Hearn scored to make the score, 4-1. Air Force outshot Army, 36-27, in the game. AFA was 2-for-6 on the power play while Army was 0-for-4. Torf made 26 saves for the Falcons while Ryan Leets made 32 for Army.
In the second game, Air Force and Army skated to a 3-3 overtime tie. Midway through the first period, Army took a 1-0 lead as Thane Heller scored on the power play at 7:14. Air Force tied the game early in the second period when John Kruse scored. Army then scored two goals in a span of 48 seconds early in the second period as Zak Zaremba and Andrew O'Leary scored for a 3-1 win. Falcon senior defenseman Eric Artman scored at 7:08 of the second to cut the Army lead to 3-2. Kyle De Laurell's fourth goal of the weekend tied the game at 3-3 with power-play goal at the 3:24 mark of the third period. Air Force outshot Army, 45-30, in the game. AFA was 1-for-3 on the power play while Army was 1-for-2. Jason Torf made 27 saves for the Falcons while Tadazak made 42 for the Black Knights.
Notes from the AIC Series
* Air Force held AIC to just 37 shots in the series, the fewest in a two-game series all season and the fewest since 29 vs. Canisius, Jan. 29-30, 2012
* Air Force earned its second shutout of the season with a 2-0 win over AIC, Jan. 4 ... The shutout was the first by the Falcons since blanking RIT, 2-0, on the road earlier this season.
* Freshman goaltender Chris Truehl, in his first career start, earned the shutout as he turned away all 18 shots he faced.
* Air Force's five-game unbeaten streak (2-0-3) ended with a 4-3 overtime loss on Jan. 3 ... It was the first overtime loss since the AHA Quarterfinals last season. AFA is now 0-1-4 in overtime this season.
*Air Force was held to 23 shots on goal, Jan. 3, the second fewest all season and the fewest since 21 in the season opener vs. Alaska-Fairbanks.
* Freshman A.J. Reid scored his first collegiate goal against AIC, Jan. 3
* Freshman Ryan Doucet earned his first collegiate point with an assist vs. AIC, Jan. 3
* Sophomore Max Hartner scored his second goal of the season against AIC, Jan. 3, and his first as a defenseman. His previous goal this season, and both last season, came while he was playing forward.
* Cole Gunner had four points in the series (1-3-4), including the empty-netter to seal the 2-0 win on Jan. 4 ... He has scored a point in six straight games and has at least one point in 15 of the last 19