Air Force hockey
For years, the Air Force Academy’s hockey team flew under the radar in the fiercely competitive world of college hockey. But in recent years, the Falcons have emerged as a formidable force, making their mark on the ice and building a legacy that is sure to stand the test of time. With multiple conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances in the last decade, Air Force’s dynasty in the making is one that deserves recognition and analysis.
Led by head coach Frank Serratore, the Falcons have undergone a transformation that has taken them from bottom dwellers to contenders. Serratore, who has been with the team since 1997, has implemented a style of play that is focused on speed, grit, and discipline. His ability to recruit players who fit this mold has been a key factor in the team’s success.
One of those players is goaltender Billy Christopoulos, who has been a brick wall for the Falcons in recent years. The senior from Raleigh, North Carolina has been a standout performer for Air Force, earning Atlantic Hockey Association Goaltender of the Year honors in both 2018 and 2019. His leadership and solid play between the pipes have been crucial in the team’s success.
But it’s not just about one player on this Air Force team. The Falcons have a collection of skilled and hard-working players who have bought into Serratore’s system. Senior forward and team captain Kieran Durgan has been a consistent offensive threat for the Falcons, while his leadership on and off the ice has been vital to the team’s culture.
Junior forward Evan Feno has also been a key contributor for Air Force, leading the team in points and assists in the 2019-2020 season. His speed and playmaking ability have been crucial in the team’s success and make him a formidable opponent for any defense.
Another standout player for the Falcons is senior defenseman Matt Koch, who was named the 2020 Atlantic Hockey Association Defenseman of the Year. Koch’s strong two-way play and leadership on the blue line have been essential to the team’s success in recent years.
But Air Force’s success is not just limited to its on-ice performance. The Falcons also excel in the classroom, with multiple players earning academic honors from the Atlantic Hockey Association and the NCAA. This commitment to excellence both on and off the ice is a testament to Serratore’s emphasis on discipline and dedication.
While the Falcons have yet to make it past the second round of the NCAA tournament, they have consistently made strides in the Atlantic Hockey Association. With four conference titles in the last decade, Air Force has established itself as a top contender in the league and a force to be reckoned with in the wider world of college hockey.
But what sets Air Force apart from other successful teams is its unique dynamic as a service academy. The players on this team are not just athletes, but Air Force cadets who are also training to become leaders in the military. This added layer of responsibility and commitment creates a sense of brotherhood and determination that is unmatched by any other team.
As the Falcons continue to rise in the ranks of college hockey, their dynasty in the making is one that will be closely watched and studied. From the team’s consistent success on the ice to their dedication to excellence both on and off the rink, Air Force’s hockey program has built a legacy that will stand the test of time.
In a sport that is often dominated by big-name schools and traditional powerhouses, Air Force’s rise to the top is a refreshing and inspiring story. And with the current crop of talented players and the leadership of Coach Serratore, there’s no telling how far this team can go in the future.