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Air Force Falcons men's ice hockey

The Air Force Falcons men's ice hockey team is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represents the United States Air Force Academy. The Falcons are a member of Atlantic Hockey. They play at the Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[2]

Air Force Falcons ice hockey
Air Force Falcons ice hockey athletic logo
UniversityUnited States Air Force Academy
ConferenceAHA
First season1968–69
Head coachFrank Serratore
23rd season, 395–350–86 (.527)
Captain(s)Dylan Abood
Alternate captain(s)Phil Boje, Tyler Ledford, and Erik Baskin
ArenaCadet Ice Arena
Capacity: 2,470
Surface: 200' x 85'
LocationColorado Springs, Colorado
ColorsBlue and Silver[1]
         
NCAA Tournament appearances
2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018
Conference Tournament championships
2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018
Conference regular season championships
2008–09, 2011–12
Current uniform
AHA-Uniform-USAFA.png

HistoryEdit

IndependentEdit

Air Force Academy's Ice hockey program began as a club team in 1966, led by former Michigan head coach and six-time national champion Vic Heyliger. The program grew swiftly and posted a winning record by its third season. In their fourth season, the team posted an impressive 25-6 mark and had the nation's leading scorer on the roster, Dave Skalko. When Heyliger retired in 1974, turning the team over to John Matchefts, the success continued with two more 20+ win seasons in three years. By the time the 1980 rolled around, however, the team's on-ice results began to flag and after a pair of disappointing, single-digit-win seasons Matchefts pushed his team to a .500-record before turning control over to the program's all-time leading scorer. Chuck Delich led the program for the twelve seasons, posting moderate results for most of his tenure, but as the 20th century drew to a close, the Falcons' days as a plucky Independent were numbered.

CHAEdit

In 1997, former Denver head coach Frank Serratore was hired to replace Delich and recorded two 15-win seasons before Everything changed for the Falcons. In 1999, Air Force became a funding member of the CHA, joining with the other service academy Army and five other newly-minted Division I teams. Despite the other programs having little history of success, Air Force was unable to make much headway in the conference, with the best finish being 4th out of 7 teams in their inaugural year. Army left the conference after only one year, leaving the conference with only six programs, and the Falcons found themselves as one of the worst. Air Force finished in 5th- or 6th-place for four consecutive seasons and threw in a pair of 4th-place marks for good measure. Despite their regular season woes, the Falcons did achieve some success in the CHA tournament, reaching the semifinals three times despite being an underdog. By 2006, however, it became apparent that the CHA was in trouble. The Falcons left the CHA and were accepted into Atlantic Hockey, rejoining Army in the same conference.

Atlantic HockeyEdit

The change seemed to suit the Falcons, who posted their first winning season in 7 years. In the conference tournament, Air Force defeated Holy Cross 3-0 before stunning #1 seeded Sacred Heart 5-4 in overtime. In the championship match, the Falcons took on Army and routed the Black Knights 6-1 to win the program's first conference championship and receive their first bid into the NCAA tournament. Though they lost to Minnesota in the opening round, the success would continue for the next two years with two additional Atlantic Hockey tournament titles and culminated with a 28-win season in 2009 where they won their first regular season conference title and NCAA tournament game. After a middling season in 2010, the Falcons posted back-to-back conference championships but failed to escape the first round in either season. Air Force spent the mid-teens rebuilding their program, and it came to a head in 2017 with their sixth Atlantic Hockey crown. The Falcons played so well over the course of the season that there was some talk of them making the NCAA tournament even if they were to lose the Atlantic Hockey championship (an exceedingly rare occurrence for Atlantic Hockey Teams).[3] Their second quarterfinal appearance was followed by another in 2018, where they were outplayed by eventual champion Minnesota–Duluth until the final period.[4]

Season-by-season results[5]Edit

All-time coaching recordsEdit

As of March 25, 2019

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1997–Present Frank Serratore 22 395–350–86 .527
1985–1997 Chuck Delich 12 154–197–19 .442
1974–1985 John Matchefts 11 154–150–6 .506
1968–1974 Vic Heyliger 6 85–77–3 .524
Totals 4 coaches 51 seasons 788-774-114 .504

PlayersEdit

U.S. Hockey Hall of FameEdit

The following individuals have been inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.[6]

Lowes' Senior CLASS AwardEdit

NCAA[7]

Derek Hines Unsung Hero AwardEdit

NCAA
  • Mike Phillipich (2009)
  • Dylan Abood (2018)

Scoring ChampionEdit

NCAA
  • Save Skalko (1972)
Atlantic Hockey

Player of the yearEdit

College Hockey America[8]
  • Marc Kielkucki (2001)
Atlantic Hockey[9]

Rookie of the yearEdit

College Hockey America[8]
  • Andy Berg (2000)

Student-Athlete of the yearEdit

College Hockey America[8]
  • Scott Bradley (2001)
  • Brian Gornick (2002)
  • Mike Polidor (2004)

Best Defensive PlayerEdit

College Hockey America[8]
  • Blair Bartlett (2006)

Best DefensemanEdit

Atlantic Hockey[10]
  • Greeg Flynn (2009)
  • Tim Kirby (2012)
  • Adam McKenzie (2013)
  • Ben Carey (2016)

Individual Sportsmanship AwardEdit

Atlantic Hockey
  • Jason Fabian (2014)
  • Ben Carey(2016)

Regular Season Goaltending AwardEdit

Atlantic Hockey
  • Shane Starett (2016)
  • Billy Christopoulos (2018, 2019)

Coach of the YearEdit

Atlantic Hockey

Tournament MVPEdit

Atlantic Hockey[11]
  • Mike Phillipich (2007)
  • Brent Olson (2008)
  • Matt Fairchild (2009)
  • Jacques Lamoureux (2011)
  • Jason Torf (2012)
  • Shane Starrett (2017)
  • Billy Christopoulos (2018)

NCAA All-AmericansEdit

The following Air Force Falcons men's ice hockey players have been chosen as Second Team Division I All-Americans by the American Hockey Coaches Association.[12]

All–CHA TeamEdit

First TeamEdit

The following Air Force Falcons men's ice hockey players have been chosen as First Team All-CHA.[13]

  • Marc Kielkucki (2001)
  • Brian Gornick (2001)
  • Derek Olson (2002)

Second TeamEdit

  • Brian Gornick (2000)
  • Andy Berg (2001, 2003)
  • Brian Gineo (2005)
  • Michael Mayra (2006)
  • Eric Ehn (2006)

Rookie TeamEdit

  • Andy Berg (2000)
  • Joe Locallo (2001)
  • Zach Sikich (2002)
  • Matt Charbonneau (2005)
  • Eric Ehn (2005)
  • Michael Mayra (2006)

All–Atlantic Hockey TeamEdit

First TeamEdit

The following Air Force Falcons men's ice hockey players have been chosen as First Team All-Atlantic Hockey.[14]

  • Eric Ehn (2007)
  • Andrew Volkening (2009)
  • Greg Flynn (2009)
  • Jacques Lamoureux (2009, 2010)
  • Tim Kirby (2010, 2012)
  • Scott Mathis (2011, 2012)
  • Adam McKenzie (2013)
  • Shane Starrett (2016)
  • Phil Boje (2017)
  • Billy Christopoulos (2019)

Second TeamEdit

  • Andrew Ramsey (2007)
  • Greg Flynn (2008)
  • Andrew Volkening (2010)
  • Jacques Lamoureux (2011)
  • John Kruse (2012)
  • Adam McKenzie (2014)
  • Cole Gunner (2014, 2015)
  • Johnny Hrabovsky (2016)
  • Jordan Himley (2017)

Third TeamEdit

  • Eric Ehn (2008)
  • Tim Kirby (2011)
  • Shane Starrett (2017)
  • Billy Christopoulos (2018)

Rookie TeamEdit

  • Scott Mathis (2009)
  • Jason Torf (2010)
  • Adam McKenzie (2010)
  • Chris Truehl (2014)
  • Shane Starrett (2016)
  • Matt Serratore (2016)

Current Players in the NHLEdit

Goalie Shane Starrett signed an Entry Level Contract with the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL on April 10, 2017. He is currently the only Air Force Falcons Men's Ice Hockey player to be in the NHL or respected affiliates.

Statistical Leaders[15]Edit

Career Scoring leadersEdit

GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player Years GP G A Pts PIM
Chuck Delich 1973–1977 109 156 123 279 151
Bob Sajevic 1976–1980 113 107 121 228 54
Dave Skalko 1969–1973 118 75 144 219 208
Bob Ross 1968–1972 106 105 92 197 41
Gary Batinich 1974–1978 104 82 114 196 107
Tom Richards 1978–1982 118 78 90 168 54
Mike Smellie 1976–1980 103 77 89 166 56
Frank Daldine 1983–1986 109 79 77 156 75
Dave Bunker 1970–1974 109 82 70 152 118
Robin Robideaux 1975–1979 108 68 84 152 200

Career Goaltending LeadersEdit

GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

Minimum 35 games

Player Years GP Min GA SO SV% GAA
Shane Starrett 2016–17 70 3918 128 9 .924 1.96
Andrew Volkening 2007–10 127 7370 269 15 .915 2.19
Stephen Caple 2008–12 36 1792 66 2 .908 2.21
Jason Torf 2010–14 115 6561 269 10 .915 2.46
Chris Truehl 2014–15 50 2745 124 3 .900 2.71

Statistics current through the start of the 2017-18 season.

Current rosterEdit

As of August 16, 2019.[16]
No. S/P/C Player Class Pos Height Weight DoB Hometown Previous team NHL rights
2   Andrew Kruse Freshman D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1998-12-06 Delano, Minnesota Minnesota Magicians (NAHL)
3   Jake Levin Junior D 6' 2" (1.88 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1997-02-03 Mequon, Wisconsin Odessa (NAHL)
4   Luke Rowe Freshman D 6' 1" (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1998-08-08 Succasunna, New Jersey Boston Jr. Bruins (NCDC)
6   Alex Mehnert Junior D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1997-06-15 Moorhead, Minnesota Omaha (USHL)
8   Marshall Bowery Junior F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1996-11-17 Rochester Hills, Michigan Topeka (NAHL)
9   Trevor Stone Senior F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1996-06-03 Pleasant Plains, Illinois Springfield (NAHL)
10   Keegan Mantaro Sophomore D 5' 9" (1.75 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1998-12-03 Monument, Colorado Sioux City (USHL)
11   Max Harper Junior F 6' 3" (1.91 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1996-09-29 Rochester Hills, Michigan Topeka (NAHL)
12   Blake Bride Freshman F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 165 lb (75 kg) 1998-04-22 Broomfield, Colorado Sioux Falls (USHL)
13   Keenan Lund Freshman F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 165 lb (75 kg) 1998-08-03 Sartell, Minnesota Minot (NAHL)
15   Bennett Norlin Freshman F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1998-10-26 Farmington, Minnesota West Kelowna (BCHL)
17   Joe Tyran Senior D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1996-03-07 Chattaroy, Washington Bismarck (NAHL)
18   Ty Pochipinski Freshman F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1998-06-05 Colorado Springs, Colorado Penticton (BCHL)
19   Luke Manning Freshman F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1999-04-13 Stillwater, Minnesota Des Moines (USHL)
20   Brandon Koch Freshman D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1999-01-18 Hastings, Minnesota Wenatchee (BCHL)
21   Matt Pulver (C) Senior F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1997-06-05 Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin Aberdeen (NAHL)
22   Pierce Pluemer Senior F 6' 4" (1.93 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1996-01-07 Phillips, Wisconsin Odessa (NAHL)
23   Willie Reim Freshman F 6' 3" (1.91 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1999-01-11 North Oaks, Minnesota West Kelowna (BCHL)
25   Carter Ekberg Sophomore F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1997-05-14 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Janesville (NAHL)
26   Erich Jaeger Senior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1996-01-02 Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Wichita Falls (NAHL)
27   Jensen Zerban Sophomore F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1998-11-13 Elk River, Minnesota Philadelphia (NAHL)
28   Brady Tomlak Senior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1996-05-14 Oakland, Michigan Springfield (NAHL)
29   Shawn Knowlton Junior F 5' 8" (1.73 m) 165 lb (75 kg) 1996-08-14 Slingerlands, New York Aberdeen (NAHL)
30   Erik Anderson Junior G 5' 11" (1.8 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1996-06-10 Chanhassen, Minnesota Pikes Peak (RMJHL)
31   Zach LaRocque Junior G 6' 2" (1.88 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1997-01-26 Arvada, Colorado Cedar Rapids (USHL)
33   Alex Schilling Sophomore G 6' 1" (1.85 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1997-12-23 Medina, Minnesota Austin (NAHL)
37   Mitch Walinski Freshman F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 165 lb (75 kg) 1998-07-10 Lincoln, Rhode Island Corpus Christi (NAHL)
41   Austin Park Freshman G 5' 11" (1.8 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1998-06-05 Highlands Ranch, Colorado Wenatchee (BCHL)
47   Dalton Weigel Freshman D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1999-12-30 Bloomington, Minnesota Aberdeen (NAHL)
74   Zack Mirageas Junior D 5' 9" (1.75 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1997-07-15 Newburyport, Massachusetts Bloomington (USHL)
88   Kieran Durgan Sophomore F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1997-08-20 St. Johns, Michigan Shreveport (NAHL)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "AF Branding & Trademark Licensing > About Us > The Air Force Symbol > Display Guidelines". Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Air Force Falcons Men's Hockey". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
  3. ^ "What I Believe – Monday Edition". USCHO.com. 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  4. ^ "Minnesota Duluth earns second straight Frozen Four berth with victory over Air Force". USCHO.com. 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  5. ^ "Air Force Hockey 2018-19 Record Book" (PDF). Air Force Falcons. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  6. ^ "The Record Book" (PDF). University of Michigan. September 22, 2009. p. 20. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  7. ^ "Hockey Senior CLASS Award". NCAA.org. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  8. ^ a b c d "CHA Awards". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
  9. ^ "AWARDS - NCAA (AHA) PLAYER OF THE YEAR". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  10. ^ "Awards - NCAA (AHA) Best Defenseman". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  11. ^ "Awards - NCAA (AHA) Tournament MVP". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  12. ^ "Men's Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 6. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  13. ^ "All-CHA Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  14. ^ "All-Atlantic Hockey Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  15. ^ "Air Force Falcons Men's Hockey 2017-2018 Record Book" (PDF). Air Force Falcons. 2018-08-17.
  16. ^ "2019–20 Ice Hockey Roster". U.S. Air Force Academy Athletics. Retrieved October 20, 2012.

External linksEdit