Serratore family ready for father-son match-up
DEC 27, 2012 1:33p ET
Tom's father, Frank, is the head coach at Air Force, which plays the Gophers on Saturday as part of the Mariucci Classic. Minnesota will also face off against top-ranked Boston College on Sunday, but not before Tom Serratore has the chance to skate in front of his dad for the first time in his Gophers career.
It will be a mix of emotions, for sure, as Tom skates against his dad's team. The Serratore family in attendance will also be torn in terms of loyalties. Do they root for Tom and Minnesota, or Frank and the Falcons?
"I'm not going to ask them that question," Tom Serratore said. "I don't want to know. We'll see. Maybe they'll wear half and half. That's all I can hope for."
Tom's sister is a senior at Air Force. He said she's one family member who won't split her allegiance on Saturday.
"She already told me she's wearing blue on Saturday," Serratore said. "We'll see. Hopefully Sunday they better be wearing maroon and gold."
Frank Serratore is in his 16th season as the Falcons head coach and has compiled a career record of 260-257-55. Air Force is off to a 5-7-3 start this season and is 4-4-2 in the Atlantic Hockey Association.
After a recent 5-1 win over Penn State, Serratore went on a postgame rant that went viral on YouTube. Frank Serratore was harsh on his team in his postgame speech, despite a four-goal victory.
Of course, Tom has seen the video of his dad. He wasn't surprised by the upfront nature of his dad's postgame rant.
"People are sending me links and I'm just like, 'That's normal to me,'" Serratore said.
Serratore enters Saturday's game on a bit of a hot streak. The Gophers junior forward has six goals this season, doubling his total from all of last year. He had goals in both of Minnesota's games against Colorado College right before the break and currently has a three-game goal scoring streak. He's also tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals.
"I've had some success. I'm trying not to let it get to me head and just stay level-headed and keep battling away," Serratore said. "My teammates have given me some good opportunities to put some home, so I'm just trying to keep doing what I'm doing."
Minnesota head coach Don Lucia is glad he was able to lure Tom Serratore away from his dad's team to join the Gophers.
"We thought he was an element that we needed in our lineup," Lucia said. "He plays the game hard. He plays it the right way, and he's obviously starting to score and kind of come into his own. That's why he's been getting more ice time right now. It's good to see for him because he's one of the guys you can kind of count on, whether it's a blocked shot or a big hit. He's been a nice element to our team."
No downplaying Sunday's game: A few big storylines play into Minnesota's game Sunday against Boston College. Of course, there's the fact that the Eagles are currently the top-ranked team in college hockey, while the Gophers are fourth.
But there's also the revenge factor weighing on the game. It was BC that knocked the Gophers out of the playoffs last year with a lopsided 6-1 victory over Minnesota in the Frozen Four. The Gophers fell behind early and never made a game out of it.
"I don't want to say it's just another game, because it's not," said Gophers defenseman Nate Schmidt of Sunday's rematch. "They're the No. 1 team in the country right now. They're the best team coming into our barn. … It's going to be a big game. If we try and downplay it, that's not the way it's going to be."
Boston College eventually went on to win the national championship and is hoping to repeat its title this year. The Eagles are off to a 9-2-1 start this year, with losses to Northeastern and Boston University. BC has the fifth-best scoring offense in the country, scoring 3.57 goals per game. Goalie Parker Milner is 11-2-1 with a .923 save percentage.
For a Gophers team predicted by many to be one of the best teams in the country, Sunday's game should be a good test as to where Minnesota is at entering the second half of the season.
"I think that's one of those games that probably the fans are looking forward to, not so much as I don't think you look at it as payback as much as just getting an opportunity to see a real elite team," Lucia said. "It's a good measuring stick for us. … It'll be a good matchup. It'll be a good test, and it should be a good weekend of hockey."
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