Air Force (18-11-6 overall and 14-7-6 in the AHA), the second seed in the AHA Tournament, will face third-seeded Holy Cross (17-15-5, 14-8-5 AHA) on Friday, March 18, in the Atlantic Hockey semifinals at 7:15 p.m. ET at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y.
The Falcons finished second in the AHA regular season and defeated Sacred Heart in two games in the quarterfinals last weekend at Cadet Ice Arena.
In the other semifinal game, top-seeded RIT (18-10-8, 15-5-7 AHA) will face fourth-seeded UConn (15-17-4, 13-12-2 AHA), Friday, March 18, at 4:05 p.m. ET.
The two semifinal winners meet on Saturday, March 19, at 7:05 p.m. ET at the Blue Cross Arena, in Rochester, N.Y.
What’s at Stake
The winner of the AHA Tournament gets the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament and will be one of 16 teams to play in one of four NCAA Regionals.
The four regional sites are: St. Louis, Mo. (March 25-26); Green Bay, Wisc.(March 26-27); Bridgeport, Conn. (March 25-26); and Manchester, N.H. (March 26-27)
The NCAA Frozen Four will be played at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., April 7-9.
Six in a Row
Air Force is on a current six-game winning streak, the longest of season
The winning streak is the third longest in the nation (Michigan, eight; North Dakota, seven)
Air Force’s six -game winning streak is the longest since the 2008-09 team opened the season with 13 straight wins.
The games will be broadcast in Colorado Springs on The Sports Animal AM 1300 and on the internet at www.GoAirForceFalcons.com.
Pregame show begins 30 minutes before faceoff.
Jay Ritchie will call the play-by-play while Dave Toller will be the color analyst.
Both games will be video streamed with audio by America One Television. Subscriptions can be purchased at www.americaone.com/college.
AFA in the AHA Playoffs
AFA has reached the AHA Final Four an unprecedented five straight years.
Air Force joined Atlantic Hockey for the 2006-07 season and won three straight tournament championships (No. 4 seed in 2007, No. 3 seed in 2008 and No. 1 seed in 2009). AFA was the No. 3 seed in 2010 and fell to Sacred Heart in the semifinals.
The Falcons also won the 2008-09 regular season title
AFA is 15-2 all-time in the AHA playoffs
Hot Down the Stretch
Not only has Air Force won six straight, but after a 5-5 overtime tie at RIT on Feb. 5, the Falcons have won seven of eight. AFA trailed 4-0 in the first 12 minutes and came back to earn a point in the game.
Air Force is 9-2-3 in the last 15 games
AFA vs. the Final Four Field This Season
AFA was 1-0-1 vs. Holy Cross this season. The teams skated to a 1-1 overtime tie on Dec. 3. The next night, Air Force trailed 6-4 to start the third, but Jacques Lamoureux scored twice in the third, including the game-winner with 0.3 seconds left in the 7-6 AFA win.
AFA was 1-1-1 vs. RIT this season. In the first game, Air Force overcame a 3-2 deficit late in the third for a 4-3 win on Nov. 7 at the Academy. In Rochester, Feb. 4-5, RIT took a 1-0 overtime win the first night. The Tigers built a 4-0 lead in the first 12 minutes of game two, but Air Force came back for a 5-5 overtime tie.
AFA was 1-0-1 vs. UConn this season with both games played in Storrs, Conn. AFA won the first game 2-1. The second night, AFA trailed 3-1 in the second period, but came back for a 5-5 overtime tie.
AFA vs. the Field in the Playoffs
Air Force and Holy Cross have only met once in the playoffs and the Falcons beat the Crusaders, 3-0, in a one-game playoff in the AHA quarterfinals at the Cadet Ice Arena, March 10, 2007. It was Air Force’s first ever AHA playoff game
Air Force and RIT met in the AHA semifinals, March 15, 2008 at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester and the Falcons blanked the Tigers, 5-0
Air Force and UConn have never met in the playoffs
Best Hockey at Right Time
Over the past five seasons, Air Force has played its best hockey at the right time of year
From February 15 through the end of the season, Air Force is a combined 31-9-1
2006-07: Feb. 15-28: 3-1; March 1-31: 3-1
2007-08: Feb. 15-28: 2-0-1; March 1-31: 5-1
2008-09: Feb. 15-28: 3-1; March 1-31: 5-2
2009-10: Feb. 15-28: 2-2; March 1-31: 2-1
2010-11: Feb. 15-28: 4-0: March