Air Force vS Cloud State Live Watch NCAA Hockey Tournament 2018 Stream: in a West Regional semifinal in Sioux Falls, S.D. From Denny Sanford Premier Center. A look at Friday’s NCAA men’s hockey matchups in Sioux Falls.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Air Force head coach Frank Serratore is one of the biggest personalities in NCAA Division I men’s hockey. He has a big voice, loves to tell stories and seems nearly bereft of cliches, which makes him a favorite of media members.
St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko and Huskies assistant coach Mike GIbbons are also quotable storytellers with pretty big personalities.
Now imagine all three of them on a staff together. That took place in 1993-94 in Serratore’s last season as the head coach at Denver.
“So Bob shows up for a year and he’s a pretty intense guy, too,” Gibbons said. “He’s also a very passionate hockey guy. We had some very interesting meetings.
Friday-Saturday • Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls
3 p.m.: No. 4 seed Air Force vs. No. 1 St. Cloud State, ESPNU
Falcons at a glance: Air Force (22-14-5) won the Atlantic Hockey tournament to earn an NCAA bid for the seventh time in the past 12 years. The Falcons are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games and have allowed two or fewer goals in seven of those games. Air Force has five players with 20 or more points, led by F Erik Baskin’s 27 (16 goals, 11 assists). G Billy Christopoulos is 22-14-5 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
Huskies at a glance: St. Cloud State (25-8-6) is the No. 1 overall seed and is seeking its second Frozen Four berth in school history. F’s Robby Jackson (15-27—42) and Mikey Eyssimont (17-22—39) pace a Huskies attack that also gets help from D Jimmy Schuldt (10-28—38). G David Hrenak (14-5-2, 2.12, .919) was a Mike Richter Award semifinalist.
6:30 p.m.: No. 3 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 2 Minnesota State Mankato, ESPN3 stream
Bulldogs at a glance: Minnesota Duluth (21-16-3) was the last at-large team to make it in the NCAA field. The Bulldogs, last year’s national runner-up, split two games with MSU Mankato this season, winning 3-1 at home on Nov. 25 but losing 1-0 in Mankato on Jan. 23. Freshman D Scott Perunovich (11-24—35) leads the Bulldogs in scoring. G Hunter Shepard, a Richter semifinalist, is 21-14-1 with a 1.98 GAA and .924 save percentage.
Mavericks at a glance: MSU Mankato (29-9-1) won the WCHA regular-season championship and is making its fourth NCAA trip in the past six seasons. C.J. Suess leads the Mavericks with 43 points (22 goals, 21 assists), and fellow senior F Zeb Knutson, a Sioux Falls native, has 42 (14 goals, 28 assists). G Connor LaCouvee is 23-5-1 with a 1.76 GAA and .196 save percentage.
The injuries did not stop once Air Force went to the postseason. During Game 2 of Air Force’s opening round series against Army, center Erich Jaeger suffered an injury and Bailey has played the last three games at center.
“I played one or two games freshman year (of college) at center, but playing forward, it was probably second year of pee-wees,” Bailey said with a smile. “Taking (faceoff) draws for the first time since I was 12, it was kind of comical at times. But it’s been fun.”
And it has been appreciated by his teammates.
“Dan Bailey is a great person off the ice, and he’s got kind of a goofy personality once you get to know him and the boys love being around him,” Air Force senior defenseman Dylan Abood said. “He has been great for this team. Coming in, we had a pretty full roster last year and he kind of worked his way in.
“He was one of our most improved guys last year,” Abood said of Bailey, who had 16 points and was a plus-9 in 39 games as a sophomore. “We’ve had some open spots at forward and he’s filled those spots beautifully. He’s been exactly what we needed him to be.
He’s been flexible and a big part of our success.
Air Force got a bit healthier down the stretch and is 7-1-1 in its last nine games after winning the Atlantic Hockey Conference tournament to qualify for its seventh NCAA Division I tournament.