The Sioux Falls Stampede announced that forward George Michalke has committed to the United States Air Force Academy and will play hockey at the school beginning in the fall of 2010.
Michalke is set to begin his second season with the Stampede after scoring 15 points (8g, 7a) in 44 games during the 2008-09 season. He registered a plus-11 rating which ranked third on the team. The forward recorded a four-game point streak from February 7-18 scoring four points (3g, 1a) during that span.
The Parma, Ohio native first played in the USHL during the 2006-07 season appearing in two games with the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets before playing 42 games in the 2007-08 campaign and recording 11 points (4g, 7a).
Four former USHL players are currently on the Air Force Falcons roster; sophomores Paul Weisgarber (Waterloo Black Hawks), Greg Burgdoerfer (Des Moines Buccaneers), Scott Mathis (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), and freshman Mike Walsh (Chicago Steel) who earned the USHL Curt Hammer Award following the 2008-09 season.
The head coach of the Air Force men's hockey team is Frank Serratore who spent six seasons as a head coach in the USHL compiling a 202-81-5 record. He is the League's all-time leader in win percentage (.710). Serratore twice led teams to the Clark Cup (Omaha Lancers 1989-90 and Rochester Mustangs 1986-87) and to the Anderson Cup on three occasions (Omaha 1989-90, Rochester 1986-87, and Austin Mavericks 1984-85). He was named both the USHL General Manager of the Year and USHL Coach of the Year following the 1984-85 season and again earned USHL General Manager of the Year honors in 1989-90. Air Force assistant coach Mike Corbett spent two seasons (1990-92) as a player in the USHL.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)