Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

NCAA Tournament preview: Air Force vs. Boston College

BRIAN GOMEZ Updated: March 20, 2012 at 12:00 am

Where: DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

TV: ESPNU

Radio: The Sports Animal 1300 AM, play-by-play by Jay Ritchie, color by Dave Toller

Live updates: Join a fan chat with Gazette reporter Brian Gomez at www.gazette.com/afa

The series: Air Force is 0-5 vs. Boston College, most recently suffering an 8-2 loss at a 2007 tournament in Minneapolis. The teams have never met in the NCAA Tournament.

What’s at stake: The winner faces the winner of Saturday’s other regional semifinal between No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth and No. 3 Maine in Sunday’s regional title game. The regional champion advances to the Frozen Four, which is April 5-7 in Tampa, Fla.

 

SCOUTING AIR FORCE …

Record: 21-10-7

Coach: Frank Serratore (255-249-50 in his 15th season)

National championships: None

NCAA Tournament appearances: 5 (most recent in 2011)

How they got here: Beat RIT in the Atlantic Hockey Association Final Four title game

Winning streak: 3 (last loss March 10 against Connecticut in the AHA quarterfinals)

Note that victory: 2-1 at Colorado College on Dec. 30, 2011

Top point producer: LW Kyle De Laurell has 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points

Leading scorer: RW John Kruse has 16 goals, four of which have been game-winners

Best defenseman: Tim Kirby has 12 goals and 16 assists, along with a plus-nine rating

Between the pipes: Jason Torf is 8-4-2 with a 1.72 GAA and a .928 save percentage

Don’t sleep on: RW Cole Gunner has 28 points, and he leads with 37 penalty minutes

The X factor: Kirby’s defensive mate, Scott Mathis, has 24 points, and he’s a plus-seven

Some stats: The Falcons average 3.13 goals, and they allow 2.13 goals, the third-fewest in the nation. They’re 17.3 percent on the power play and 81.2 percent on the penalty kill.

Need to know: All four of Air Force’s losses in the NCAA Tournament have been by one goal – 2-1 against Yale in overtime in 2011; 3-2 against Vermont in double overtime in 2009; 3-2 against Miami in overtime in 2008; and 4-3 against Minnesota in 2007

Why they’ll win: The Falcons have a knack for playing their best in high-pressure games

Why they’ll lose: The downtrodden AHA didn’t ready Air Force to win on the big stage

Remember this: Air Force upset Michigan 2-0 in the 2009 NCAA Tournament – a game in which the Wolverines outshot the Falcons 43-13 but were 0 for 7 on the power play

 

SCOUTING BOSTON COLLEGE …

Record: 29-10-1

Coach: Jerry York (442-222-60 in his 18th season)

National championships: 4 (1949, 2001, 2008, 2010)

NCAA Tournament appearances: 31 (most recent in 2011)

How they got here: Beat Maine in the Hockey East tournament championship game

Winning streak: 15 (last loss Jan. 21 at Maine)

Note that victory: 6-2 at North Dakota in the Ice Breaker title game on Oct. 8, 2011

Top point producer: RW Chris Kreider has 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points

Leading scorer: LW Barry Almeida has 22 goals, including 11 on the power play

Best defenseman: Brian Dumoulin has six goals and 20 assists, and he’s a plus-23

Between the pipes: Parker Milner is 25-5 with a 1.82 GAA and a .931 save percentage

Don’t sleep on: LW Johnny Gaudreau has 19 goals, including five game-winners

The X factor: C Pat Mullane leads with 26 assists, and he has nine goals

Some stats: The Eagles rank fifth nationally with 3.52 goals and 2.17 goals allowed. They’re third on the penalty kill at 87.5 percent, and their power play hits at 21.5 percent.

Need to know: The 909 career victories by York are the most among active coaches – York won 342 games and a national title at Bowling Green and 125 games at Clarkson

Why they’ll win: With nine NHL draft picks, Boston College is simply too talented

Why they’ll lose: Playing only an hour from campus makes Boston College complacent

Remember this: Boston College was stunned by CC 8-4 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, as a 4-1 deficit in the first period grew to a 7-2 deficit in the second

 

Contact Brian Gomez: 719-636-0256 or brian.gomez@gazette.com. Facebook: Brian Gomez. Twitter: @gazettehockey. Google+: Brian Gomez.

Comment Policy

Colorado Springs Gazette has disabled the comments for this article.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
SEP
2
SEP
3
SEP
4
SEP
5
SEP
6
SEP
7
SEP
8
SEP
9
SEP
10
SEP
11
SEP
12
SEP
13
SEP
14
SEP
15
Advertisement

Latest Obits view all

Powered by Legacy.com ©