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The Matchup: Coming off an opening night 7-1 throttling of Sacred Heart, the Bentley University hockey team gets another crack at the University of Michigan, ranked No. 5 in the latest USCHO poll, Friday night in Ann Arbor at Yost Ice Arena. Face-off is set for 7:35 pm.
Bentley and Michigan played for the first time ever last season, a two-game series to open the Falcons' season, with Michigan winning by scores of 5-1 and 4-1. The Wolverines opened their 2012-13 season last Thursday and Friday at home against Atlantic Hockey's RIT. The Tigers pulled the upset in game one, winning 5-4 in overtime, but Michigan took the second game 7-2.
Winning One for Michael: Prior to Tuesday's game, the Falcons honored friend Michael Eden, who lost his battle with cancer in May at the age of 15. Michael and his family grew close to the hockey program last season after being introduced by Team IMPACT, an organization that provides kids with life-threatening illnesses the chance to realize their sports dreams. Michael's sister, Alyssa, dropped the ceremonial first puck. The team also paid tribute to Michael by wearing the name EDEN on the back of their jerseys.
Last Season's Series: Though the final scores may not have indicated it, the two games between Bentley and Michigan last season were close. In the first game, Alex Grieve scored a power play goal in the first period as the Falcons led 1-0 after 20 minutes. Michigan scored twice in the second period, and held a 2-1 lead until there were less than five minutes left in the third. Michigan then scored three goals in a three minute span to put the game away.
In game two, the Wolverines led 1-0 after the first period, but Jared Rickord evened the score at 9:21 of the second period before Michigan's Phil Di Giuseppe gave them a 2-1 lead at 14:31 of the second. The score stayed that way deep into the third period, until Michigan's A.J. Reais scored at 17:49 and Alex Guptill added a late empty-net goal.
Picking Up Where They Left Off: Junior Brett Gensler, last season's AHA scoring champion and Walter Brown Award winner, and Grieve, last year's AHA Rookie of the Year, picked up where they off from last season in Tuesday's win. Gensler had four-point night on a goal and three assists, the fourth time in his career he's had four points in a game. Grieve had two goals.
Dominant Special Teams: All seven of Bentley's goals Tuesday came on special teams, four on the power play and three shorthanded. Both of Grieve's goals were on the power play, and Gensler and defenseman Steve Weinstein scored in 5-on-3 situations. Brett Hartung, freshman Andrew Gladiuk and Rickord had the shorthanded goals.
The four PP goals are the most Bentley has scored in a game since Nov. 13, 2009 against Sacred Heart, and the three shorthanded goals are a program Division I record.
Solid Debut: Four freshmen, forwards Gladiuk and Tyler Krause and defensemen Matt Blomquist and Kyle O'Brien made their Bentley debuts on Tuesday. Gladiuk and Krause were on the second line with Joe Campanelli. Gladiuk had a goal and an assist and Krause had an assist. Blomquist was on the first defensive pairing with Weinstein and was +2, and O'Brien was on the second pairing with Matt Maher and was +1.
Up Next: It's just a one-game weekend for the Falcons, who return home Sunday following Friday's game. They play two more non-conference games next weekend, hosting Alabama-Huntsville Friday night at Ryan Arena, then play at Harvard Saturday night. The game with UAH will be the first meeting between the two programs since the 2001-02 season. The Falcons and Crimson will hit the ice together for the first time ever.