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:

Wednesday reading: UND, Mankato, SCSU, Niagara, Penn State

The future of North Dakota goalie Aaron Dell remains up in the air.

With a new TV contract comes a change at play-by-play announcer for UND.

The Mankato assistants will stay on under the new head coach.

Former St. Cloud State captain Garrett Raboin is back as a new assistant coach.

Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky “excited to move on” from Sandusky scandal.

The Niagara AD takes a job at Virginia Commonwealth.

The 1991-92 Lakers were inducted into the Lake Superior State Hall of Fame.

The Syracuse women made a head coaching hire.

WCHA roundup: Denver downs Union

Compiled from WCHA.com …

No. 15 Denver 3, No. 10 Union 1

DENVER – No. 15 Denver returned from the holiday break with a solid 3-1 win over No. 10 Union before a sellout crowd of 6,053 Friday night at Magness Arena.

Denver (9-7-3) started fast with first-period goals from Drew Shore, Joey LaLeggia and Shawn Ostrow and Juho Olkinuora made a career-high 42 saves in the win.

Jeremy Welsh scored for Union (9-4-5) and Colin Stevens took the loss after yielding two power-play goals in the first eight minutes of the game.

No. 2 Minnesota 5, Niagara 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Playing for the first time in 20 days, the Minnesota men’s hockey team started the second half of its season strong, defeating Niagara 5-1 at Mariucci Arena on Friday night. The victory put the second-ranked Golden Gophers in the Mariucci Classic championship game against Northeastern of Hockey East on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Without the aid of two of its top scorers, U.S. World Junior Championship team members Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau, UM never let go of a lead it took just 1:58 into the opening frame.

Senior forward Nick Larson buried a Jake Parenteau rebound just before the two-minute mark of the first period to give the Gophers a 1-0 lead.

The assist was Parenteau’s first collegiate point. It came in the 26th game of his career and the 18th game of his sophomore season.

The Gophers built on their lead just over a minute after Larson’s tally when another senior, Jake Hansen, converted on a Sam Warning rebound to make it a two-goal game.

Nebraska-Omaha 2, Quinnipiac 2

OMAHA — Sophomore forward Ryan Walters scored at 11:42 of the third period to lift the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks into a 2-2 tie against the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Friday night at the CenturyLink Center.

North Dakota 4, Harvard 4

GRAND FORKS — Freshman defenseman Nick Mattson scored two goals and freshman forward Brendan O’Donnell had a goal and an assist as North Dakota skated to a 4-4 tie against Harvard at Engelstad Arena on Friday.

Bemidji State 4, Bowling Green 1

BEMIDJI — Junior forward Aaron McLeod, senior forward Drew Fisher and junior forward Ben Kinne each scored in the second period as Bemidji State defeated Bowling Green, 4-1, on Friday at Sanford Center.

USA U-18 3, MSU-Mankato 3 (exhibition)

MANKATO — Junior forward Eriah Hayes scored a shorthanded goal at 19:09 of the third period to lift Minnesota State to a 3-3 tie against the US Under-18 Team on Friday night at Verizon Wireless Center.