Notebook: Air Force upperclassmen lead second-half surge

Ledford_3065-1Senior Tyler Ledford (above) scored the OT goal that lifted Air Force to the Atlantic Hockey semifinals, and he is one of five juniors and seniors leading the team offensively.

The Falcons won the tournament last year and six of the past 11 years. Their veteran presence will certainly help entering Friday’s semifinal vs. Canisius, as it has in the second half – Air Force is 12-4-2 since it started the season 8-10-3. They face Dylan McLaughlin, who is the league’s Hobey Baker Top 10 finalist.

The Atlantic Hockey scoring champion and First Team all-conference playmaker has vaulted to sixth in the national scoring charts. He got off to a fast start, collecting points in 15 of his first 16 games. His 31 assists in 36 games ranks him sixth in the nation. He has 17 goals, 31 assists for 48 points in 36 games – only five minor penalties all season.

Robert Morris (17-19-3) is the only team under .500 in action this weekend, but the Colonials are 4-1-1 in their last six … Regular-season champion Mercyhurst is seeking its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2005.

Largest Senior Classes
11 – Mercyhurst
9 – Connecticut, Robert Morris
8 – Air Force, Canisius, five other teams
Note that the four AHC semifinalists are listed.
Fewest Even-Strength Goals Against per Game
0.81 – Cornell
1.19 – Clarkson
1.38 – Minnesota State
1.39 – Minnesota Duluth
1.47 – Northeastern
1.49 – Air Force
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is slated for 10 a.m. MT on Sunday, March 18 (ESPNU, TSNGO)
This marks the third straight season that the top four seeds advanced to the NCHC’s Frozen Faceoff … No team has swept the NCHC regular-season and playoff titles in the same year entering this, the fifth year of the conference.
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Thursday reading: Tigers in the pros, WMU, WCHA schedule

NHL.com interviewed former Tiger Jaden Schwartz for its regular 10 Questions feature. He has four points (two goals) in seven games with AHL Peoria.

Defenseman Brian Connelly has eight points (six assists) in six games for AHL Houston while teammate Chad Rau has three (two assists) in seven games. Kris Fredheim has appeared in two games for the Aeros.

For AHL Chicago, Brett Sterling has five points (four assists) in six games while Bill Sweatt has three (two goals) in seven games.

Mike Testwuide has one goal in two games so far this season for AHL Adirondack. Gabe Guentzel has appeared in two games for AHL Norfolk.

Here is a column focusing on Western Michigan.

This weekend’s schedule in the WCHA …

Games for Friday, November 2: Nebraska Omaha at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Colorado College at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota State at Minnesota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Boston University at North Dakota (NC), 7:37 pm CT; St. Cloud State at Denver (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT.

Games for Saturday, November 3: Nebraska Omaha at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Boston University at North Dakota (NC), 7:07 pm CT; Colorado College at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Minnesota at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; St. Cloud State at Denver (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT.

CC 4, UAA 3 Stats

No. 6 Colorado College 4, Alaska-Anchorage 3

Alaska-Anchorage           2              1              0              –3

Colorado College              1              2              1              — 4

First period – 1, UAA, Scheid (Coldwell) 7:45; 2. UAA, Cameron (Spencer) 15:30; 3. CC, Boivin (Collett) 16:22. Penalties – UAA, Sproule, holding, 5:33; UAA, Bruijsten, elbowing, 9:25; UAA, Coldwell, cross checking, 11:28; UAA, Leinweber, holding, 18:43.

Second period – 4, UAA, Cameron (Leinweber, Kwas) 2:00; 5. CC, R. Schwartz (unassisted) 4:04 (PP);  6. CC, Civitarese (unassisted) 11:13 (SH). Penalties – UAA, Scheid, interference, 3:36; CC, Harstad, elbowing, 9:44; CC, Winkler, interference, 15:16.

Third period – 7. CC, Boivin (Winkler, Eveland) 19:57.  Penalties – CC, Dineen, elbowing, 16:23.

Power play – Alaska-Anchorage 0-3; Colorado College 1-5. Shots on goal – UAA 8-7-11 – 26; CC, 20-11-9 – 40. Saves-minutes – UAA, Gunderson 19-9-8-60:00; CC, Thorimbert 6-6-11 – 60:00. Attendance – 6,552.

UAA 6, CC 3 Stats

Alaska-Anchorage 6, Colorado College 3

Alaska-Anchorage           1              3              2              –6

Colorado College              2              1              0              –3

First period – 1, CC, Rapuzzi (R. Schwartz, J. Schwartz) 6:42; 2. CC, Krushelnyski (Winkler, Marciano) 8:23; 3. UAA, Bruijsten (unassisted) 17:37 (SH).  Penalties – CC, Dineen, interference, 4:00;  UAA, Crowell, checking from behind, 16:40; UAA, Cameron, slashing, 18:21; CC, McDermott, holding the stick, 18:21.

Second period – 4. UAA, Bruijsten (Leinweber, Docken) 3:00 (PP); 5. CC, Dineen (Krushelnyski, McDermott) 3:16; 6. UAA, Leinweber (Roy, Currier) 5:14; 7. UAA, Coldwell (Allen, Kwas) 11:17 (PP). Penalties – CC, Marciano, cross checking, 1:37; CC, Guentzel, interference, 6:35; UAA. Gorham, holding, 8:14; CC, Dineen, tripping, 8:27; CC, McDermott, hooking, 10:59; CC, Taft, 5-minute checking from behind, 10-minute game misconduct, 19:59.

Third period – 8. UAA, Gorham (Leinweber) 1:09 (PP); 9. UAA, Bruijsten (Scheid, Cameron) 3:55. Penalties – CC, Eveland, high sticking, 7:51; CC, R. Schwartz, 5-minute slew foot, 10-minute game misconduct, 14:56.

Power play – UAA 4-11; CC 0-1. Shots on goal – UAA 7-15-8 – 30; CC  12-9-8 — 29. Saves-minutes – UAA Gunderson 10-8-8 – 60:00; CC Howe 6-12-2 – 43:55; Lockwood 4-16:05. Attendance – 6,587.