Bentley Set to Open Season at Home Tuesday vs. AIC

Kyle Schmidt
Kyle Schmidt

Game Notes

The Matchup: With a new home rink on the horizon, the Bentley hockey team is set to open up the 2017-18 season on Tuesday night at the JAR against Atlantic Hockey foe American International. Puck drop is set for 7:05 pm and can be seen on AtlanticHockey.TV

The Falcons finished T-6th last season in Atlantic Hockey and defeated Sacred Heart in the first round of the playoffs two games to one, after they dropped the first game. In the deciding game three, Ryner Gorowksy scored the winning goal 30 seconds into double overtime. The Falcons were then knocked out by Air Force in the quarterfinals.

AIC finished 10th last season under first-year head coach Eric Lang, and were eliminated in the first round by Mercyhurst in two games. The Yellow Jackets will open their season this weekend with two home games against Army West Point.

Follow the Games: All Bentley Atlantic Hockey games, home and away, will air on AtlanticHockey.TV, powered by Stretch Internet. The cost for a regular season pass is $104.99, and a day pass is $10.99.

New this season, the service can be accessed using Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV.

Tickets to home games this season can be purchased here: Bentley hockey tickets

Who's Back: Bentley returns 9 out of its top 10 scorers from last season.  Captain Kyle Schmidt tops that list, coming off a season where he scored 18 goals, which was 4th most in Atlantic Hockey, and notched 33 points, tied for 7th most. All-Rookie team selection Ryner Gorowsky is the next leading returning scorer after he recorded a 7-16-23 scoring line, and he's followed by sophomore Jonathan Desbiens  (9-11-20) and junior Drew Callin (8-11-19).

Two defensemen graduated, but the five who played in the most amount of games among that unit all return. Senior Chris Buchanan, who has played in 105 career games entering the season, and assistant captain Tanner Jago highlight the group.

The Falcons' two starting goalies both return in senior Jayson Argue and sophomore Aidan Pelino. The two shared time in net last season, as Argue started 26 games and Pelino 13. Argue will enter the season as one of the most experienced net minders in Atlantic Hockey with 63 career starts under his belt.

Who's New: Bentley has brought in a strong recruiting class that features nine newcomers, five forwards and four defensemen. Among the forwards, Brett Mennear was named a 2nd team BCHL All-Star last season while playing for Prince George, and Luke Santerno was 6th in the BCHL last season in goals with 33 while playing for the Trail Smoke Eaters. Michael Zuffante is another highly regarded forward who scored 18 goals and notched 30 assists with the Minnesota Wild in the NAHL.

Among the defensemen, Charlie Marchand and Matt Lombardozzi each helped their junior teams win back-to-back league titles; Marchand with the Brooks Bandits in the AJHL and Lombardozzi with Carleton Place in the CCHL. Nick Rutigliano played three seasons with West Kelowna in the BCHL, a program that has produced former team captains Max French and Alex Grieve, and helped them win the 2016 BCHL title.

Schmidt Among Returning Leaders: Schmidt will enter the season with the second most career goals among active players with 41. He ranks 9th among active players in career points with 89. The Wisconsin native was 4th in Atlantic Hockey in goals last season (18) and T-7th in points (33).

In Season Openers: Bentley has won three of its last five season openers, which includes last season 5-1 win at UNH. They defeated Nebraska-Omaha 6-4 to start the 2013-14 season, and Sacred Heart 7-1 to start the 2012-13 season.

The last time Bentley opened at home was the 2015-16 season, with a series against Mercyhurst. The program is 18-22 in season openers as a varsity program.

Series vs. AIC: Bentley leads the all-time series vs. the Yellow Jackets 29-21-11 in a series that began in the 1980-81 season. The teams played just twice last season, and both games ended in ties, 2-2 and 1-1. Both games were played in Springfield.

The Falcons have won four straight over AIC at the JAR, including a sweep during the 2015-16 season by scores of 1-0 and 6-1.

Up Next: Bentley will be back in action on Friday the 20th when they open a series at Holy Cross. The team is back at the JAR on Friday the 27th to open a series with Mercyhurst.

 

Tale of the Tape

 

 

 

Goals Per Game

2.59

2.28

Shots Per Game

3.08

26.4

Goals Allowed Per Game

3.08

3.39

Penalty Minutes

13.4

11.1

Power Play

15.0%

18.8%

Penalty Kill

81.1%

77.6%

Leading Returning Scorers

Kyle Schmidt (18-15-33); Ryner Gorowsky (7-16-23); Jonathan Desbiens (9-11-20)

Blake Christensen (8-13-21); Dominik Florian (10-10-20); Martin Melberg

Leading Returning Goaltender

Jayson Argue: 9-13-5; 3.00 GAA, .908 sv%

Zack Skog: 5-12-6; 3.05 GAA, .904 sv%

*Stats from 2016-17 Season