Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

AFA gears up for playoffs in regular-season finale

February 20, 2014 Updated: February 21, 2014 at 8:14 am
0
Caption +
Air Force teammates celebrate with right wing George Michalke III after he scored the Air Force's fourth goal as they take on Robert Morris University Saturday, November 16, 2013 at Cadet Ice Arena. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

Air Force is determined to play playoff-caliber hockey when it hosts the Rochester Institute of Technology in its final regular-season home series this weekend, which includes Senior Night on Saturday.

"It won't be a problem," senior defenseman and captain Adam McKenzie said of playing with extra intensity. "The seniors will be motivated. No one wants to go out with a loss. The younger players should be motivated too. We want the first-round bye."

Air Force (18-10-4, 13-7-3) is tied for third with UConn and trails second-place Bentley in the Atlantic Hockey Association standings by three points with four regular-season games remaining.

The Falcons, however, are one point ahead of fifth-place Robert Morris, which won the season series 2-1.

AFA will host a playoff series. The Falcons just want to make sure it is for the quarterfinals.

The fifth- through eight-place teams host Nos. 9-12 in the first round, March 7-9, in a best-of-three series. The winners then travel to the top four seeds March 14-16.

Tenth-place RIT (8-17-5, 7-13-3 AHA) is winless in its past eight games (0-6-2). The Tigers are led by senior forward Michael Colavecchia (26 points, 12 goals) and senior defenseman Greg Noyes (22, 17 assists). Junior goalie Jordan Ruby (3-11-2, 3.74 goals against, .892 saves percentage) and freshman Mike Rotolo (5-6-3, 2.99 goals. .906 saves) have split time.

Falcons coach Frank Serratore, who has been on the road recruiting all week, said he is leaning toward starting senior goalie Jason Torf on Friday but would play freshman Chris Truel with "zero hesitation" either night.

Air Force is paced by six juniors: Cole Gunner (40 points, 14 goals); Chad Demers (38, 14 goals); Scott Holm (25, 15 assists); and 15 points each from Alex Halloran, George Michalke and Dan Weissenhofer.

Seniors Jason Fabian, McKenzie, Jacob Musselman, Ryan Timar, Tony Thomas, Torf and Mitch Torrel have combined for 75 wins, including two Atlantic Hockey tournament championships and one regular-season title.

To add to those numbers, the Falcons need to play to their potential.

"We know we can't just flip a switch and play better in the postseason," Timar said. "We need to play this weekend and next like it's the playoffs."

Comment Policy
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.