COLORADO SPRINGS — The Air Force hockey team has had a long line of great goalies under head coach Frank Serratore - guys like Billy Christopoulos, Shane Starrett, Jason Torf, and Andrew Volkening.
The Falcons' current goalie, Alex Schilling, is no different as he looks to leave one more mark on the sheet of Cadet Ice Arena.
"I was able to start some conversations with coach Burg and coach Serratore and here we are four years later getting ready for the playoffs," joked Schilling, as he and the Falcon prepare to face Army in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey postseason tournament. "To have a year with Billy (Christopoulos) and Frank (Serratore) during my freshman year was really powerful for me. That is what I am kind of doing with Guy Blessing right now. So it is kind of a fun roll to mentor the next guy."
After entering the Academy as a scrawny kid from Minnesota, Schilling got his first nod between the pipes his sophomore year.Since then, he has been one of the most consistent goalies in college hockey.
"Frank always says you can't buy experience at Walmart," joked Schilling.
"He's a great goalie," added Serratore. "Like some guys are great athletes, some guys are great goalies. If you got a great athlete that is a great goalie they are probably playing in the NHL."
This year Schills is the lone senior on the Falcon's roster, but the bigger honor has been wearing the C on his chest.
"To be voted a captain was the greatest honor I have ever had as a hockey player, without a doubt," added Schilling.
Now Alex is set to graduate in May and head to LA to be a part of the Space Force Acquisitions teams.
But before he puts up the pads for the last time, the kid who only becomes a goalie because his older brothers needed someone to shoot on, plans to have one last grand exit.
"Me being the lone senior, I just want to be remembered as a guy that came to work everyday with a level head, positive attitude, led by example, and if I can pass on some traits to next year's team, I will be happy with that," explained Schilling. "But the one thing I still don't have on my resume, that those guys do, is an Atlantic championship so I want to get that one for sure."
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