Air Force was hoping for better results in its road series against American International College. The Falcons had a tie and a loss against the Yellow Jackets, and fell to 6-6-2 overall.
While they trailed Springfield, Massachusetts, by just one point, they showed many positives in their 0-1-1 weekend.
For example, the Air Force retained the AIC without the goal of power play. The Falcons have killed seven penalties against the best power play team in the Atlantic Hockey Association.
Defenseman Luke Rowe also cited strong energy from the Air Force bench. This boosted the team’s efficiency at the fore-check and helped with the flops.
Air Force hasn’t won in the AIC since 2015. Points aren’t given this time either. Although they were hoping to get more during the trip to Massachusetts, getting one is a sign of improving hockey for the Falcons.
The Falcons will stay on the East Coast this weekend for a series against Mercyhurst. Lakers are 3-9-2 overall.
Coach Frank Serratore knows never to underestimate anyone. His motto is that his team can beat anyone on a given night and anyone can beat his team on a given night.
But if the Falcons get a few small things right – as they did against AIC – they could take several points against Mercyhurst.
Through the ups and downs Colorado College looks like a much improved hockey team. The Tigers going into the Thanksgiving break are 5-8-1 overall and 2-3-1 in NCHC play.
CC doesn’t have a winning record, but the Tigers have beaten a few quality teams, such as Minnesota Duluth, Air Force and Miami (Ohio). And some of their losses have been very close to strong teams like St. Cloud State (#4) and formerly ranked UMD.
The high level of competitiveness is evident. But to see the gains outweigh the losses, CC will need to get better on Saturdays.
The Tigers are 2-4 in the two-game series. They went 26-12 on Saturday, and most recently lost 5-0 against SCSU.
There is no clear answer as to why the Sabbath is sluggish. If CC only played on Fridays, the Tigers would be 3-4-1 – but that’s not how hockey works.
CC has proven to get better. The Tigers are fifth in the NCHC – one of the top college hockey leagues – and have competed well against some of the strongest teams in the country.
But to take the next step and stay in the hunt for a conference race, they have to get better at finishing the series.