The Matchup: Bentley gets its 2015-16 season underway this weekend with a visit from the Mercyhurst Lakers for a two game set at Ryan Arena. Both games Friday and Saturday night begin at 7:05 and can be seen on EverSport.
The Falcons open their season against the team they ended it with last season in Mercyhurst. The two teams met in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs, which the Lakers took in three games after rallying late from 2-0 down in the third period of game three.
While Bentley is playing its first games this weekend, Mercyhurst already has two official games in the books after opening last weekend with a road split against Colgate. They dropped the first game 5-2 but rebounded in the second with a 9-7 win.
How to Follow: EverSport is the new carrier of Atlantic Hockey games online, including every conference game home and away and the team's three non-conference home games against Northeastern, Merrimack and Rensselaer.
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 updates are on Twitter @BentleyFalcons.
Last Year's Series: Bentley went 3-0-1 against Mercyhurst during the regular season, a tie and win at home and a sweep out in Erie. The win at home, 5-4 on Nov. 15, was in overtime and featured a hat trick by Andrew Gladiuk, who scored the winner in overtime as well. The 4-4 tie the night before featured four different players scoring.
Out in Erie at the end of January, Bentley swept by scores of 3-2 and 4-3. The 3-2 win saw them jump out to a 3-0 lead by 2nd period, and Bentley holding off a late rally after Mercyhurst scored twice in the final 6:20. Bentley's 4-3 win the next night was one of the biggest comebacks by the team in recent memory. Trailing 3-0 after just 11 minutes of the 1st period, goalie Gabe Antoni came on in relief and proceeded to slam the door with 27 saves the rest of the way. That allowed Bentley to chip away at the deficit, and the rally was capped when Kyle Schmidt scored the winner with just 16 seconds left.
All-Time Series: Mercyhurst leads the all-time series 30-15-8. In the last 10 games at the JAR, Bentley holds a 5-4-1 edge.
Climbing the Ranks: Gladiuk enters the season leading the nation in career power play goals among active players with 27. The next closest is Quinnipiac's Sam Anas with 19. Gladiuk is also third among active players in both career goals (55) and points (108).
Preseason Poll: Bentley was picked 3rd in Atlantic Hockey in both the preseason coaches poll and the preseason media poll. Mercyhurst was tabbed 8th by the coaches and 7th by the media.
Up Next: Bentley has a home-and-home series with Northeastern next weekend. On Friday the 16th they will visit Northeastern's Matthews Arena and on Saturday the Huskies visit Ryan Arena. The all-time series is tied 2-2, with Bentley winning the last two at Matthews. Most recently Bentley won 6-3 during the 2012-13 season. The Huskies will be become the first Hockey East team to visit the JAR.