The Matchup: Bentley will begin the month of February on the road when they visit the Mercyhurst Lakers in Erie, Pa., for an Atlantic Hockey series beginning Friday night. The teams will enter the weekend separated by just three points in the standings. The games begin both nights at 7:05 can be seen live on EverSport.
Bentley (8-9-4 AHC) is coming off its second straight three point weekend after taking a win and tie against Sacred Heart, and they carry a four game unbeaten streak (2-0-2) into the series. They won the series opener vs. the Pioneers 4-2, before skating to a 3-3 tie on Saturday. The Falcons are currently 7th in the AHC with 20 points.
Mercyhurst (11-8-1 AHC) will enter the weekend 5th in the AHC with 23 points. They swept AIC at home over the weekend, winning by scores of 3-1 and 5-3.
Follow the Games: This weekend's games can be seen live on EverSport. The cost for a day pass is $6.99. Visit this page to sign up.
In addition to the live broadcasts, live stats can be found on Bentleyfalcons.com, and in-game updates will be on Twitter @BentleyFalcons
Last Time Out: In its series with Sacred Heart last weekend at the JAR, Bentley won the opener 4-2 before tying 3-3 in the finale. Four different players scored in the win; Michael Reardon, Andrew Gladiuk, Will Suter and Kyle Schmidt. Reardon scored the opener 8:37 into the first period, and Bentley had three different, two goal leads throughout the game.
The next night Sacred Heart jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but three unanswered goals by Bentley staked them to a 3-2 lead after Schmidt scored a power play goal with 5:32 remaining. The Pioneers though scored the equalizer less than a minute later, and the game ended 3-3. Gladiuk scored his 32nd career power play goal in the 2nd period, which leads all active NCAA players.
Three With 30+ Points: Bentley's trio of Gladiuk, Schmidt and Max French have all exceeded 30 points this season. That makes Bentley won of just four teams nationally with three players with 30-plus points; the others are Robert Morris, Michigan and St. Cloud State.
French (35 points) is T-3rd in Atlantic Hockey, while also ranking T-5th nationally in points per game (1.52). Three of the players ahead of him in that category are NHL draft picks.
Schmidt (31 points) is T-6th in Atlantic Hockey, while Gladiuk (30 points) is T-8th. All three are also in the top-10 of Atlantic Hockey in goals and assists.
Schmidt a Semifinalist for Walter Brown: Schmidt was named a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award on Monday, given to the best American-born player in New England. It's the 5th straight year a Bentley player has been named a semifinalist. Brett Gensler became the first player in program history to win the Walter Brown Award in 2012, and defenseman Steve Weinstein was named a finalist in 2014.
Gladiuk on a Tear: Gladiuk has a six game point streak (6-8-14) and a four game goal streak going, and continues to rise up both the Bentley and NCAA career rankings.
Among active NCAA players, he's 3rd in career points (138), just two behind BU's Danny O'Regan. Only one other player in Bentley's Division I history has hit 140 career points, Brett Gensler (167).
Gladiuk is also 2nd among active players in goals (68), four behind Harvard's Jimmy Vesey. He's six goals away from breaking Gensler's Bentley Division I record of 73 career goals.
Blomquist Moves Up: Defenseman Matt Blomquist had three assists in the 6-1 win over AIC Jan. 22, and one assist in each game vs. Sacred Heart last weekend. The senior blue liner now has 76 career points (12g, 64a), which is 3rd most in program history among defenseman, behind Steve Tobio (120) and Steve Weinstein (104).
The game against AIC was the 4th time in his career he's had three assists in a game. His 64 career assists are 8th most in Bentley's Division I history. In Atlantic Hockey this season, he's T-3rd in scoring among defensemen with 18 points.
Earlier This Season: Bentley and Mercyhurst have already played twice this season during a series opening weekend at the JAR. The Lakers ended up sweeping a pair of close games, 3-1 and 3-2. Andrew McDonald scored all three Falcon goals during the weekend.
Last Time in Erie: These two last played in Erie the weekend of Jan. 30 of last season, with Bentley sweeping by scores of 3-2 and 4-3. In the second game, Bentley fell behind 3-0 after just 11:22 of the first period, but staged a comeback to erase the deficit. With the score tied 3-3, Schmidt scored the winner with just 16 seconds left in the 3rd period.
Bentley is 4-3-3 in the last 10 games played at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Up Next: Bentley welcomes in Canisius for two next weekend at the JAR. It will be the first meetings of the season between the squads and the first visit by Canisius to Watertown since the 2014 Atlantic Hockey playoffs.
Last year's lone series, played in Buffalo, resulted in a 2-2 tie and a 2-0 Canisius win.