Former Air Force goaltender Volkening takes spot in Atlantic Hockey Hall of Honor
Atlantic Hockey’s career wins leader, the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Andrew Volkening, has been inducted into the Atlantic Hockey Hall of Honor.
The only goaltender in Atlantic Hockey history to record more than 60 career wins, Volkening won the AHA goaltending championship as a junior in 2008-09 with a 2.09 goals-against average in AHA play.
“I’m honored to be recognized by Atlantic Hockey,” Volkening said. “This honor really goes to the teams I played on at Air Force. I was surrounded by fantastic hockey players, coaches, and staff. And as amazing as they were at their jobs, they were (and are) even better people. The support network around the team was also second to none and greatly contributed to our team’s ability to perform at a high level on the ice, in the classroom, and on the military training grounds. I’m grateful to all of those folks who made that success possible.
“It was a privilege attending the Air Force Academy and I’m proud of everything the program accomplished during my time there and since.”
The Genoa, Ill., native debuted with Air Force in 2006-07, playing in 10 games and posting a 4-2-0 record with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage. The totals included a 23-save performance in the 2007 Atlantic Hockey championship game as the Falcons downed rival Army West Point, 6-1, to win their first AHA postseason crown and clinch their first trip to the NCAA Tournament. The championship performance earned him AHA All-Tournament honors.
At the NCAA West Regional in Denver, Volkening narrowly missed backstopping the Falcons to an upset of regional No. 1 seed Minnesota as he stopped 33 of 37 shots in a 4-3 loss to the Golden Gophers.
As a sophomore in 2007-08, Volkening cemented himself as the Falcons’ No. 1 goaltender, taking the net in 39 games and posting a 21-11-6 record as Air Force again skated off with the Jack Riley Trophy as the AHA’s postseason champion.
Volkening was voted the Most Outstanding Player for the 2008 AHA postseason after blanking RIT, 5-0, in the semifinals and turning away 49 shots in a 5-4 double-overtime win over Mercyhurst in the championship game. The win sent Air Force back to the NCAA Tournament where he earned a spot on the Northeast Regional All-Regional Team with a 30-save effort in a 4-3 overtime loss to No. 1 seed Miami.
The 2008-09 season saw Volkening post career best for games played (41), wins (28), save percentage (.920) and goals-against average (1.97). The 28 wins remain an AHA single-season record today. Air Force finished 20-6-2 in AHA play to share the regular-season title with RIT and Volkening in net for all 28 contests. The performance earned him All-Atlantic Hockey honors for the first time.
Volkening was spectacular in the AHA postseason, blanking Bentley, 3-0, in the semifinals and Mercyhurst, 2-0, in the championship game to earn another Atlantic Hockey All-Tournament nod. The win sent Air Force to the NCAA Tournament for a third-straight season.
The Falcons were again a No. 4 regional seed and faced No. 1 seed Michigan in the East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn. Volkening remained hot in the net and the Falcons stunned the Wolverines as Volkening pitched a 43-save shutout against the Maize and Blue in a 2-0 win. Air Force would fall 3-2 to Vermont in double-overtime in the regional final the following night despite a 32-save performance by Volkening as he earned All-Region honors for the second year in a row. The three-shutout postseason run is the longest shutout streak in AHA history while the 262:12 scoreless minutes is also an AHA record.
Volkening’s senior campaign saw Air Force’s season end in the semifinals of the Atlantic Hockey Postseason after a 14-8-6 record in AHA play. He again earned All-Atlantic Hockey honors as he wrapped up his career with a 69-39-14 ledger to establish the AHA career wins record.
His 51 wins in AHA play also stand as a conference record while his overall (.623) and conference (.661) winning percentage rank No. 6 and No. 9, respectively, in AHA history. He also ranks No. 3 in career GAA (2.19), tied for fifth in career GAA in AHA play (2.19) and holds the Atlantic Hockey record for career shutouts with 15.
Following graduation, Volkening was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He currently resides in the state of Washington and works in public service.
Photo/Air Force Athletics
(January 12, 2023)