The Matchup: Coming off three straight non-conference games, Bentley returns to Atlantic Hockey play Tuesday night when they welcome in the AIC Yellow Jackets to the JAR. The action in Watertown gets underway at 7:05 pm and can be seen live on EverSport.
Bentley (5-6-1, 3-2-1 AHC) will enter the night in a three-way tie in Atlantic Hockey for 6th place with RIT and Canisius, all with 7 points. Though the Falcons have played just six conference games so far, as much as four fewer than some teams. The last time they played an Atlantic Hockey game, they swept RIT the weekend of Nov. 13 and 14 on the road.
AIC (2-12, 2-7 AHC) last played on Nov. 24, a 3-0 loss at Holy Cross. Prior to that they split a road series with Niagara, which included a 5-4 loss in OT and a 4-2 win. The Yellow Jackets claimed a 3-2 win at Robert Morris Nov. 6, Atlantic Hockey's 1st place team.
Follow the Game: Tuesday night's game can be seen live on EverSport. The cost for a day pass is $6.99, while the cost for a season pass is $99. Visit this page to sign up.
In addition, live stats can be found on Bentleyfalcons.com, and live game updates are on Twitter @BentleyFalcons.
Last Time Out: Bentley took on UNH Saturday night at the Whittemore Center in the first ever meeting between the two programs, and the Wildcats emerged victorious 5-4 in a back-and-forth affair. The team's alternated goals all night, until the eventual winner was scored by UNH's Maxim Gaudreault with 12:29 remaining in the 3rd period.
Bentley trailed 3-2 entering the 3rd, but tied it up on a goal by Kyle Schmidt, set up by Max French, 3:53 into the period. Just 12 seconds later though UNH took the lead back, but Schmidt struck again, and assisted by French, at 5:17 for a 4-4 tie. A little over three minutes later Gaudreault netted the winner.
Saturday was the first time this season Bentley lost when scoring three goals or more. They had been 5-0.
Around Atlantic Hockey: Entering December, preseason favorite Robert Morris is in 1st place with 15 points on a 6-1-3 AHC record. Mercyhurst and Holy Cross are tied for 2nd with 12 points, though both have games in-hand on the Colonials. Sacred Heart is in 4th with 9 points, followed by Air Force in 5th with 8 points. Bentley, RIT and Canisius are all tied for 6th with 7 points, though the Falcons have played at least two fewer conference games than anyone.
Tied at the Top: After each going for two points against UNH, Schmidt and French are tied for the team lead in points with 13. French on 7 goals and 6 assists (in 8 games), and Schmidt on 6 goals and 7 assists. Schmidt has already surpassed his points total from last season (7-4-11). They're both tied for 6th in Atlantic Hockey in points.
French, averaging 1.62 points per game, would be T-6th nationally if he was eligible, but playing in 75% of your team's games is the minimum. Schmidt is T-35th nationally in ppg (1.08).
Last Season vs. AIC: Bentley-AIC played just twice last season with both games in Springfield. The first game ended in a 4-4 tie after AIC scored the tying goal with just 24 seconds left in regulation. The Falcons bounced back with an empathic 5-2 win the next day. French had a career high 5 points on a goal and 4 assists, and Andrew Gladiuk had a goal and three assists.
Series History: Bentley leads the all-time series 27-21-5 and is 8-4-2 since the start of the 2010-11 season. The Falcons won the last game played at the JAR, 5-1 in the penultimate game of the 2013-14 season. The series dates back to the 1980-81 season, a 5-4 Falcons victory in the first ever meeting.
Up Next: Bentley next heads to Niagara for a two game series in Western New York. The teams split a series at the JAR last season, with the Falcons taking the first game 6-0 but dropping the second 3-2 in OT. It will be Bentley's first visit to Dwyer Arena since the 2012-13 season.