The Matchup: Entering the final weekend of the regular season, Bentley controls its own destiny for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs. They'll look to sew it up when they take on Army West Point in a home and home series this weekend. The series gets underway Friday night at Tate Rink in West Point, before shifting to the JAR for the regular season finale on Saturday. Both games begin at 7:05 pm and can be seen live on EverSport.
The Falcons (9-12-5 AHC) drew with AIC on the road 2-2 on Wednesday night, which bumped them into a tie for 7th with Sacred Heart, both teams with 23 points. Bentley trails 6th place Canisius (25 points) by two points.
The Black Knights (7-11-8 AHC) are in 9th place entering the weekend with 22 points, and will be looking to jump into the top-eight to gain home-ice for the opening round of the postseason. Army was in action last weekend against Mercyhurst at home, and came away with a 2-2 tie before suffering a 3-1 defeat.
Follow the Games: This weekend's games can be seen live on EverSport in HD. 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
Home-Ice Scenarios: Bentley can finish anywhere from 6th to 9th. The simplest scenario to claim a home-ice spot is a win in one of these two games. To finish 6th, they would need to finish with more points than Canisius, since the Griffs own the tiebreaker. Canisius has a home and home series with Robert Morris this weekend.
Bentley owns the tiebreaker over Sacred Heart thanks to a 4-2 win and 3-3 tie against the Pioneers the weekend of Jan. 29. Sacred Heart has a home and home with Holy Cross this weekend. Bentley currently owns the tiebreaker over Army due to a 6-2 win and 2-2 tie the weekend of Oct. 31, but with two games left against each other and Bentley leading by one point in the standings, they cannot tie.
Earlier This Season: Bentley-AWP have already played twice this season the weekend of Oct. 31. The first game down at Tate Rink on Halloween ended in a 2-2 tie. Max French scored both Bentley goals in the 3rd period after they fell behind 2-0 after two Black Knights goals in the 2nd frame. Jayson Argue made 31 saves in goal.
One day later they met in the first ever college hockey game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with Bentley rolling to a 6-2 victory. Defenseman Matt Blomquist opened the scoring just 19 seconds in. After Army tied it at 3:13 on a goal by Shane Hearn, Bentley took a commanding 3-1 lead towards the end of the period after French and Jake Ahlgren scored just over a minute apart. Kyle Schmidt scored power play goals in the 2nd and 3rd periods, and Bentley ended the day 4-4 on the man-advantage.
Notes: Andrew Gladiuk is still three goals away from breaking Brett Gensler's program record for career goals at the Division I level (73). Gladiuk enters the weekend with 71 … French is three points away from hitting 100 for his career. He currently has 97 on 45 goals and 52 assists in 94 games. He would become the 10th player in program history to hit 100 at the Division I level … Schmidt had his 10 game point streak snapped on Wednesday. With 37 points already (14g, 23a), he's scored 26 more points than his freshman season, which is the biggest improvement from last season by any player in the nation. The next closest is Michigan's J.T. Compher, who has improved by 21 points.
Schmidt joins his line mates French and Gladiuk as all ranking in the top-10 of Atlantic Hockey in goals, assists and points.
Up Next: Bentley will play a best of three series in the first round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs starting March 4. The opponent and location will be determined after Saturday's game.