PDA

View Full Version : Eternal Flame : Your United States Air Force Academy Fighting Falcons!



Pages : [1] 2

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 12:15 PM
in 2006 the huskyfans built a house in Breckenridge, CO. being Yoopers, we missed our hockey. the mister, being a retired Air Force Lt Colonel, suggested we try some games at the Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs. we were hooked. Air Force has their own hockey boards, so we don't see much action on the USCHO boards about the team. I thought I'd start a thread for the few fans on here and perhaps drive a bandwagon for one of the most unique programs in college hockey. and perhaps gain a little respect for program that we all pay for but is often misunderstood.

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 12:51 PM
a little about the Academy itself and its students :

The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA or Air Force) is a military school for officer candidates of the United States Air Force. Its campus is located north of Colorado Springs. The Academy's stated mission is "to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation." Graduates of the Academy's four-year program receive a Bachelor of Science degree, and most are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force. Candidates for admission are judged on their academics, leadership, athletics and character. To gain admission, candidates must also pass a fitness test, undergo a medical examination, and secure a nomination, which usually comes from the member of Congress in the candidate's home district. Recent incoming classes have had about 1,200 cadets; historically just under 1,000 of those will graduate. Tuition along with room and board are all paid for by the U.S. government. Cadets receive a monthly stipend, but incur a commitment to serve a number of years (usually five) of military service after graduation. In addition to a rigorous military training regimen, cadets also take a broad academic course load with a core curriculum in engineering, humanities, social sciences, basic sciences, military studies and physical education, all cadets participate in either intercollegiate or intramural athletics. As an example, this years sophomore goaltender Jason Torf is pursuing a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and minoring in Portuguese. many learn piloting of powered and non powered (gliders) craft and parachuting. A Cadets day begins at 5:30am and ends at 1030pm, they march by squads to the dining hall, have exactly 20 minutes to eat. basically they live a military style life while getting a first rate education.

then there is hockey ...

bunt_q
03-28-2012, 12:57 PM
I really would like to see both CC and DU restore full home-and-home series with Air Force each year. Fun games.


I'm tempted to ask you why Yoopers would need to build a house in Breckenridge?... I've been told time and again by Tech fans that the quality of life is great up there, that there's nothing different about Colorado, nothing more to do here that you can't also do there, nothing that might keep a real fan from an arena on a Saturday night. So why on earth would you need to build a house here, on the other side of the country? Is the UP - with all of that fantastic college hockey - not good enough for you?

bunt_q
03-28-2012, 12:58 PM
The service commitment is 10 years now for cadets who do pilot training.

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 01:01 PM
from Air Force Hockey Guide:


"A short conversation with coach Frank Serratore makes your pulse race a little faster. His enthusiasm and energy for Air Force hockey are that powerful.

As the fourth head coach in the 43 years of Air Force hockey, Serratore was in his office less than a week when he pointed out what it would take to turn the program around.

"We want to be the hardest working team in the country," Serratore said. "We want to have a team full of over-achievers. Not everyone is blessed with outstanding ability, but everyone can work hard and play with pride and spirit."

Serratore enters his 15th season at Air Force with a 234-239-43 record at the Academy. He has an overall mark of 283-331-52 in 18 seasons as a college head coach. Not only has Serratore turned the Falcon program around, he has turned it into a legitimate national contender with four conference championships and four NCAA appearances in the last five years.

Last year, the Falcons recovered from a slow start to win its fourth AHA title in five years. The Falcons went 9-2-3 in the final 14 regular season games to earn the No. 2 overall seed. Air Force blanked the regular-season champion, RIT, 1-0, in the championship game. A 2-1 overtime loss to top-seed Yale in the NCAA Tournament ended the Falcons' season at 20-12-6.

The 2009-10 season was the only one in the last five years that the Falcons watched the NCAA Tournament at home. The Falcons swept Army in the AHA quarterfinals at home but fell on a late goal to Sacred Heart in the AHA semifinals. AFA finished the season 16-15-6 overall and third in the AHA.

The 2008-09 season proved to be the best in school history with a school-record 28 wins, another league championship and the Academy's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory. Air Force opened the season with a school-record 13 straight wins and rose to No. 10 in the nation, the highest in Academy history. Win No. 13 was a 4-1 win over third-ranked Colorado College to end a 24-year drought vs. the Tigers. As the No. 1 seed in the AHA Final Four, AFA rolled over Bentley and Mercyhurst with back-to-back shutouts to win its third straight title. The first round of the NCAA East Regional put the Falcons against third-ranked Michigan. Andrew Volkening made 43 saves as the Falcons earned a 2-0 win. Air Force came within a whisker of the Frozen Four, but 10th-ranked Vermont defeated Air Force in double overtime on a goal that was awarded on video review.

Serratore led Air Force to 21 wins in 2007-08 en route to the second AHA championship and NCAA Tournament berth. Air Force was 21-12-6 overall and finished third in the league. At the AHA Final Five, AFA defeated RIT, 5-0, in the semifinals. The Falcons then needed double-overtime to beat Mercyhurst, 5-4, in the championship game on a goal by Josh Frider. The win sent the Falcons to the NCAA Tournament but second-ranked Miami-Ohio ended the Falcons' season with a 3-2 overtime loss.

In 2006-07, Air Force won its first-ever conference championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament. AFA faced Minnesota in the West Regional, the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament, and led the Gophers, 3-1, with just over eight minutes left in the third period. However, Minnesota scored three goals in a span of 3:36 for a 4-3 win over the Falcons. AFA ended the season with a 19-16-5 overall record and a 13-10-5 mark for fifth place in the AHA. The Falcons became the first service academy team to ever win a conference hockey championship and play in the NCAA Tournament. In his first season at the Academy, Serratore's disciplined and aggressive style produced more wins than the previous two seasons combined and the first 15-win season in three years. The first-year coach guided the Falcons to a 15-19 overall record. The season could not have ended on a better note as the Falcons swept Army at West Point.

His second season was no different as he guided one of the nation's youngest teams to the best winning percentage in four years at the Academy. In 1999-2000, Serratore led the Falcons to the most wins (19) in 23 years and the first winning season (19-18-2) in 10 years. Serratore juggled an injury-riddled and depleted Falcon lineup throughout the 2000-01 season. The Falcons still posted a 16-17-4 record.

A great run at the end of the 2001-02 season capped a 16-16-2 overall record. The Falcons finished fifth in the CHA (6-10-2) and upset fourth-seeded Niagara in the CHA Tournament. In 2002-03, a midseason scoring drought and numerous close losses left the Falcons with a 10-24-3 overall record. Expectations were low as the Falcons were in a rebuilding mode in 2003-04. However, Serratore led the Falcons to a 14-21-2 record, tying the then-school record with 14 Division I wins. The Falcons also defeated two teams that went to the NCAA Tournament (Miami-Ohio and Holy Cross).

The 2004-05 season was the second year of a rebuilding process. A 14-19-3 overall record again tied the school record for Division I victories. The Falcons placed fifth in the CHA with a 5-14-1 record and then proceeded to upset fourth-seeded Wayne State in a thrilling overtime victory at the CHA Tournament. In 2005-06, the Falcons were 11-20-1 overall, but the team won a school-record eight league games. Serratore, 54, came to the Academy from the Manitoba Moose of the International Hockey League, where he was the director of hockey operations in 1996. He was the head coach and general manager of the Minnesota Moose (before they moved to Manitoba) in 1994 and 1995.

Prior to his position in Manitoba, Serratore was the head coach at the University of Denver from 1990-1994. During that time, he led the Pioneers to a 49-91-9 record in four seasons and is credited with rebuilding a struggling Pioneer program. In 1995 and 1997, Pioneer teams which were recruited during his tenure made two NCAA final eight appearances and placed third in the WCHA. Serratore was responsible for improving an out-dated program. The greatest success of his stint in Denver was the increase in attendance. In his first season, home attendance had dipped below 70 percent of the capacity. When he left, DU attendance was up to 93 percent of capacity, one of the top attendance marks in the country.

Before taking over the reins at DU, Serratore was the coach and general manager of the Omaha Lancers of the United States Junior Hockey League. In one season, he took over a last-place team and led them to the USHL regular season and playoff championship. The worst-to-first Cinderella season earned Serratore the USHL General Manager of the Year and the Omaha Sportscasters Sportsman of the Year awards in 1990.

His other coaching experiences have been as the assistant coach at the University of North Dakota (1987-89), the head coach and general manager of the Rochester Mustangs (1985-87) and the Austin Mavericks (1983-85) of the U.S. Junior Hockey League. During his tenure in the USHL, he won three league championships and was runner-up twice while posting a 247-103-6 record. In 1987, he led Rochester to the USA Hockey national championship. While coaching in the USHL, he was named general manager of the year twice and coach of the year once.

Serratore attended Western Michigan University from 1977-79 before earning his bachelor's degree in physical education from Bemidji State University in 1982. He lettered four years in hockey at the two schools playing goalie. He then earned a master's degree in athletic administration/physical education from North Dakota in 1994. He played two seasons for the St. Paul Vulcans (USHL) from 1975-77 and had a brief stint with the Nashville South Stars (Central Hockey League) in 1982.

The native of Coleraine, Minn., is no stranger to coaching at the Olympic development level. In August 2003, Serratore was the head coach of the United States Under-17 Team that won the gold medal at the Five Nations Tournament in Prievizda, Slovakia. He has coached at two USA Hockey Olympic Sports Festivals and has been the coach of the USA Hockey Development Program since 1985. In 1993, he coached the West team to the silver medal at the U.S. Olympic Sports Festival in San Antonio, Texas."

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 01:07 PM
the huskyfans have family in Denver. the huskyfans enjoy(ed) snow. alot. not so much now. we also spend a lot of time in Colorado Springs.

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 01:09 PM
I believe the home and home series have been worked out with Colorado Springs. Coach Serratore has been working on a similar arrangement with DU.

manurespreader
03-28-2012, 01:15 PM
Big fan of Air Force sports. Especially hockey. Good background info there HF, keep it coming.

Is it possible they will build a bigger arena or do you think this arena is fine?

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 01:41 PM
the arena seats 2470. its co-located with the basketball (which is actually the Clune Arena) and the indoor track and field arena. they share concession space and bathrooms and a small shop. the arena is small - neat and tidy - like almost everything Air Force. they have made some nice improvements - new video scoreboard a few years ago - more comfortable seating - some historical displays.

when we first attended the games the arena (except for Army) would be about half full. the move to AHA and the Falcons continuing success has helped attendance. most games are now sellouts. any games with CC or DU sellout. many Springs families bring the kids, so you see quite a few children, also retirees (even as a geezer, I'm talking really old). cadets fill about a section (attendance varies for Army). its a polite crowd (for hockey).
the "S" word is not used ... meaning sucks. no one shouts "they still suck". well, the huskyfans did ... once. "Let's Go Air Force" is the only organized cheer, but the fans do cheer wildly for goals. most fans dress in some form of the blue and white.

concessions are ok. no alcohol.

visiting schools are treated respectfully. UnConn got a standing ovation for their gutty performance in the AHA tournament this year.

there is a Blue Line Club which is very active behind the scenes, but somewhat tucked away and invisible during the games.

parking is free.

two noticeable things at some games - satellites decorating the corners of the ceiling of the arena and armed airman with guard dogs patrolling the rafters and (occasionally) the concourse.

bunt_q
03-28-2012, 02:05 PM
I believe the home and home series have been worked out with Colorado Springs.

This is good to hear. I hate that with the WCHA's 28-game schedule we've only been able to keep one Air Force game, and still could never participate in a tournament. Now we can probably do both.

I have good memories of those post-Broadmoor seasons when CC was playing at the Cadet Field House before the World Arena was built.

ronmexico
03-28-2012, 02:40 PM
in 2006 the huskyfans built a house in Breckenridge, CO. being Yoopers, we missed our hockey. the mister, being a retired Air Force Lt Colonel, suggested we try some games at the Clune Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs. we were hooked. Air Force has their own hockey boards, so we don't see much action on the USCHO boards about the team. I thought I'd start a thread for the few fans on here and perhaps drive a bandwagon for one of the most unique programs in college hockey. and perhaps gain a little respect for program that we all pay for but is often misunderstood.

Can we get a link? :confused:

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 02:40 PM
the military academies are interesting ... they are literally OUR teams - we pay for them - so why not adopt one and cheer for them? the dedication of the cadets is incredible.

ronmexico
03-28-2012, 02:45 PM
I really would like to see both CC and DU restore full home-and-home series with Air Force each year. Fun games.


I'm tempted to ask you why Yoopers would need to build a house in Breckenridge?... I've been told time and again by Tech fans that the quality of life is great up there, that there's nothing different about Colorado, nothing more to do here that you can't also do there, nothing that might keep a real fan from an arena on a Saturday night. So why on earth would you need to build a house here, on the other side of the country? Is the UP - with all of that fantastic college hockey - not good enough for you?


I thought the decision to leave the WCHA was made to play more games against "like minded schools." How does that logic translate into playing more games against teams from AHA? :confused:

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 02:55 PM
the link for the AF boards http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=238&f=4169.

CC and AFA have great histories. the Springs and the whole ice skating, Broadmoor, Olympic thing too. wonder why ice sports were attracted to the Springs?

I also like Serratore and his Minnesota roots and Western Michigan / Bemidji / NoDak ties. I'll bet his wife serves hotdish!

UncleRay
03-28-2012, 03:19 PM
A college friend's son just committed to play football at Air Force. So proud. How can you cheer against Air Force? Or Army?

kbranch
03-28-2012, 03:31 PM
How fitting a thread title - an eternal flame burns bright at the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial in Rochester, NY, home of the Atlantic Hockey tournament and home away from home of the perennial AHA Champion Air Force Falcons.

http://img.groundspeak.com/waymarking/fcc4a7c1-26c4-4d46-a489-ffcfc0329c6e.JPG

ronmexico
03-28-2012, 03:43 PM
the link for the AF boards http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=238&f=4169.



Thanks. I'm always looking for a new hole to troll. :D

bunt_q
03-28-2012, 04:10 PM
I thought the decision to leave the WCHA was made to play more games against "like minded schools." How does that logic translate into playing more games against teams from AHA? :confused:

I suppose you could look at it as "fewer games against non-like-minded schools that nobody gives a crap about."

I doubt I'm alone in Colorado in thinking that 2 games against Air Force are better than the same number against Tech, Bemidji, or Mankato. That doesn't even have to be a knock on those schools. Air Force is an in-state rival, we should play those games.

(Edit: Wrong thread for this, but if the Tech fans had any sense, I'd think they'd feel the same way about the opportunity to play LSSU and NMU more often. But apparently local rivalries mean less up there. Regardless, more opportunity to play Air Force is a definite plus to the new conference in my book.)

Sort of like CU football having to continue beating up on poor CSU every year, despite them being very not-like-minded. If football played a 20 game season, I'd fully expect Colorado to schedule Air Force too.

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 07:08 PM
Thanks. I'm always looking for a new hole to troll. :D

don't mess with these dudes. they know where you are AND they have drones! :)

huskyfan
03-28-2012, 07:19 PM
A college friend's son just committed to play football at Air Force. So proud. How can you cheer against Air Force? Or Army?

congrats! to him! not easy to get in AND then sports on top of it ... truly inspirational.