Air Force picked to win AHA championship

2012-13 Atlantic Hockey Preseason Coaches Poll

Air Force (8) – 112
Niagara (3) – 101
Mercyhurst – 89
Bentley – 87
RIT – 87
Holy Cross – 74
Connecticut – 65
Robert Morris (1) – 61
Canisius – 38

“I wish winning the league was as easy as winning the coaches’ poll,” AFA coach Frank Serratore said. “The bottom teams have gotten so much better. There are no ‘gimmes.’”

CBS Sports Network will broadcast two AHA games including Sat., Jan. 12, Army at Air Force.

Air Force and Army are no stranger to the national scene as they have faced each other for the past six seasons on CBS Sports Network. The game will mark the 14th time in the last seven years that Air Force hockey has appeared on national television.

“Our players are thrilled about being able to play on national television,” said Serratore.  “I am excited for the opportunity to showcase one of the greatest rivalries in college hockey, those fans who have never seen an Air Force-Army hockey game are in for a special treat”

“Once again we are looking forward to playing Air Force on national TV,” states Army coach Brian Riley. “It’s a game that is played with a passion and intensity that is hard to match in college hockey. This rivalry is one of the best in all of college sports. I expect that it will be a great game not only for the people who will be in the stands to watch but it will also be great for people around the country to view on national TV.”

Here are more details including this quote from AFA coach Frank Serratore:

Updated weekend reading: AHA preview, INCH Preseason Top 10, Schultz reportedly leaves school, Chad Rau, Prosser

New England Hockey Journal takes a look at Holy Cross and the rest of the Atlantic Hockey Association for the upcoming season including Air Force and Hockey East’s latest suitor: Connecticut (pictured).

Inside College Hockey got a jump on things with its preseason Top 10, led by Minnesota, Michigan and North Dakota.

With Cornell, Wisconsin and UMass-Lowell also on the list, Colorado College will play five of this top 10 this coming season, which is more than four months away.

Of course, summer defections to the pro ranks may affect this prediction quite a bit after July 1.

Speaking of which, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Friday that Wisconsin’s Justin Schultz filed paperwork to leave school, though that remains unconfirmed as of 10 p.m. Mountain. Anaheim still has until July 1 to sign Schultz before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

This blogger put in a good effort trying to figure out which NHL organization may be most interested in the offensive defenseman.

Minnesota finds its No. 3 goalie. Pennsylvania continues to develop into good hockey country with Penn State starting up this fall as a varsity program. Now a NAHL program will likely attract area players.

Hockey East is creating a full-time position to supervise its officials.

Michigan adds another USNTDP recruit.

Defending The Blue Line announced that Chad Rau will join Nate Prosser for its annual NHL charity game on June 20 on the Minnesota campus.

Image borrowed from Let’s Go DU blog, but it could have been a pic from the Dayton to Cleveland leg of my return trip. I am not really joking.

FYI, I am headed into another long weekend away from the blog while I travel back to the land of my birth (Piqua, Ohio) to visit relatives and celebrate my Uncle Dale’s 85th.

No doubt there will be some quality family time at a Bob Evan’s or two or three between now and Wednesday May 30, when I will resume blogging.

In the interim, check USCHO, CCTigers.com, Duluth’s Rink and Run or the University of North Dakota Hockey blogs for any news that may break while I am unavailable.