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Falcons are preseason favorite in Atlantic Hockey - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Falcons are preseason favorite in Atlantic Hockey

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The Air Force hockey team was picked first in the Atlantic Hockey preseason poll, as voted on by the coaches and released this morning on the AHC media conference call. The Falcons collected eight of the 11 first-place votes and a total of 97 points.

Air Force is entering its 12th season of Atlantic Hockey. This is the fourth time the Falcons have been the preseason favorite (2008-09, 2009-10 and 2012-13).

The Falcons, ranked 17th in the USCHO.com preseason poll, closed out the 2016-17 season with a 27-10-5 overall record, placing second in Atlantic Hockey with a 19-6-3 league mark. As the No. 2 seed in the AHC playoffs last season, the Falcons swept Bentley in a two-game quarterfinal series at home to advance to the AHC Final Four in Rochester, N.Y. for the second straight year. Air Force defeated third-seeded Army (1-0) in the semifinals and then won its sixth league title in 11 years with a 2-1 win over No. 4 seed Robert Morris in the championship game. At the NCAA East Regional, the Falcons defeated No. 8 Western Michigan, 5-4, before falling to No. 2 Harvard, 3-2. The trip to the Elite Eight was just the second in school history.

“It’s great to win a championship even before the season starts,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “But seriously, we have to go out and earn that preseason ranking and it is going to difficult. We like our team. We have arguably the deepest team we have ever had. We do have to replace a very, very important puzzle piece and that is Shane Starrett. So our ranking might be a little inflated. There are a lot of good teams in our league. I truly believe that every team is much improved and better than last year. I think this year, more than any other, there are a lot of teams that have a chance to win the regular-season title and even more that can win the tournament. Our league in on an upward trend and it is an exciting time to be in Atlantic Hockey.

Air Force opens the 2017-18 season with an exhibition game against the University of Lethbridge, Monday, Oct. 2, at 6:05 pm at the Cadet Ice Arena.

Team (1st votes)                       Points

  1. Air Force (8)                 97
  2. Robert Morris (2)          87
  3. Army                            76
  4. RIT                               70
  5. Canisius (1)                   65
  6. Holy Cross                    58
  7. Mercyhurst                   52
  8. Bentley                         38
  9. AIC                              27
  10. Sacred Heart                 20
  11. Niagara                         15
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