The Matchup: After advancing past Sacred Heart two games to one in the first round last weekend, No. 8 seed Bentley is now set to take on top-seed Robert Morris in the Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinals this weekend out in Pittsburgh in another best of three series. The first two games are scheduled for Friday and Saturday night at 7:05, and game three if necessary will be Sunday night at 7:05 as well. Each game can be seen live on EverSport.
In the first round last weekend Bentley advanced by defeating SHU in three games. The Falcons took the first game 5-4 behind a hat trick by senior Derek Bacon and two goals from Max French. SHU won game two in overtime, 2-1. Bentley then responded with a big effort in game three with a 4-1 victory. Sophomore Kyle Schmidt had two goals, and senior captain Andrew Gladiuk had four assists.
Robert Morris claimed its second straight Atlantic Hockey regular season title to earn the top seed, and a bye into the quarterfinals. They went 18-6-4 in conference games for 40 points, finishing three points ahead of Air Force and Holy Cross.
Follow the Games: For the playoffs EverSport is offering an all-access pass, giving fans access to every playoff game from here on out. Use the code AHA699 at checkout.
In addition to the live broadcast, fans can access live stats at Bentleyfalcons.com, and receive in-game updates on Twitter @BentleyFalcons
Around Atlantic Hockey: All the higher seeds from last weekend advanced and in three games; No. 8 Bentley, No. 7 Canisius and No. 6 Army West Point. The Black Knights take on No. 3 Holy Cross, Canisius travels out to No. 2 Air Force, and No. 4 Mercyhurst hosts No. 5 RIT. The four winners this weekend advance on to the semifinals next Friday in Rochester. The finals are Saturday, March 19.
Hats Off: Bacon's hat trick in the game one win over Sacred Heart was the first by a Bentley player in the postseason since Jeff Gumaer did it in the 2009 Quarterfinals against Canisius. That came in the deciding game three, a 4-2 Bentley win which sent them on to Rochester.
Bacon's hat trick was the 3rd by a Bentley player this season. The other two were by Gladiuk; Oct. 16 at Northeastern and Jan. 22 vs. AIC.
Series History: This will be the first meetings in the postseason between the two programs. The all-time series couldn't any much closer at 7-7-2. Bentley is 3-6-1 all-time at 84 Lumber Arena. The Colonials swept the only two games this season, played in Pittsburgh the weekend of Jan. 8.
All-Conference Duo: French and Gladiuk were both named All-Conference by the AHC coaches on Wednesday. French was named to the first team and Gladiuk the second team.
French becomes the 4th different Falcon to earn AHC first team honors, joining Brett Gensler (2012, 2013, 2014), Steve Weinstein (2014, 2015) and Gladiuk (2015).
Gladiuk is an All-Conference selection for the 3rd straight season. He was a first team pick as a junior and a third team pick as a sophomore. As a freshman he was named Rookie of the Year and to the All-Rookie team.
Defenseman Tanner Jago was named to the All-Rookie team last week, joining teammate Matt Blomquist as the second Falcon defenseman to earn AHC All-Rookie honors (2013). Jago had a big power play goal in game three and has 16 points on the season (2g, 14a).
High Scoring Trio: French (44), Gladiuk (42) and Schmidt (42) have all surpassed 40 points this season. Bentley is one of just two teams in the nation to have three, 40+ point scorers, with Michigan being the other. It's also the first time in the program's Div. I history that they have had three players surpass the 40 point mark.
Heading into the weekend, French is 3rd nationally in points per game at 1.52. Schmidt and Gladiuk are T-27th nationally at 1.14
Up Next: The winner of this series will advance to Rochester for next Friday's semifinals, a single elimination game on the 18th at the Blue Cross Arena at either 4:05 or 7:05.