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AFA hockey goalie Billy Christopoulos transforms from reserve to probable starter

April 10, 2017 Updated: April 10, 2017 at 8:08 pm
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photo - Billy Christopoulos, goalie for the U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons, deflects a shot as the Falcons met the University of Calgary Dinos in an exhibition college hockey matchup at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 5, 2015. The Falcons defeated Calgary 5-0. Air Force opened its regular season against the No. 5 ranked University of Denver Pioneers at the Cadet Ice Arena Oct. 9. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)
Billy Christopoulos, goalie for the U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons, deflects a shot as the Falcons met the University of Calgary Dinos in an exhibition college hockey matchup at the Academy's Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 5, 2015. The Falcons defeated Calgary 5-0. Air Force opened its regular season against the No. 5 ranked University of Denver Pioneers at the Cadet Ice Arena Oct. 9. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)  

Departing Air Force goaltender Shane Starrett offered a strong endorsement to junior-to-be Billy Christopoulos, who is the leading candidate to succeed Starrett as lead goaltender next season.

"He's a great goalie," Starrett said. "You saw it last year. He can play at this level. I believe he's a great goalie, and they'll be fine with him. They'll make a good run with him."

Last season, Starrett compiled a 26-6-4 record as starter with a 1.99 goals-against average. Meanwhile, Christopoulos was 1-4-1 as starter with a 2.79 goals against average. One of Christopoulos' losses was a 4-3 setback to Denver, the eventual NCAA champ.

Air Force coach Frank Serratore said Starrett's departure "bums me out." (Serratore used the words twice.)

"But I'm equally as excited for Billy," Serratore said. "Billy has been the ultimate teammate. I am so excited for Billy to get a chance. It's his job to lose for next year."

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