Atlantic Hockey Showcase Games: Bentley

The Bentley Falcons have a lot of early chances to make their mark outside of Atlantic Hockey this year. One game stands out with the chance for this veteran team to make their mark against a local rival.

October 2 at Northeastern

The Falcons have a lot of transfers from different teams on their roster. Head Coach Ryan Soderquist has augmented his group with leaders from around this game. The opening game of the season for these Falcons sees them face a transfer of their own. Jakov Novak will be leading a young Huskies group against the Falcons that he played for the past three seasons. The Senators draft pick is a power forward that will compliment the forward group of the Huskies, and should lead their physical efforts against Bentley.

As for the Falcons, they have a few different options up front. Kohei Sato should get a heavy look to play on the first line for Soderquist’s group. Also, Soderquist will be expecting more from players with similar profiles to Novak like Matt Gosiewski, the power forward who plays in key minutes. If he can expand his nearly point per game pace (15 points in 16 games played), then the Falcons look to have some more options against a Huskies team with one of the better returning underclassmen goaltenders in the country, Devon Levi.

Why this game as the showcase?

Well, the Huskies are an NCAA Tournament level team, like the early non conference schedule the Falcons face, that is not the main reason. It is for a true showcase for Falcons Hockey. Northeastern is a program on the rise, and a local rival to the Falcons. 13.4 miles seperate Waltham and Boston, and miles more in incorrect perceptions seperate how people view Atlantic Hockey as a conference compared to Hockey East. The pride Soderquist’s group would have if they beat a school that goes on to win the Beanpot and more would be hard to measure with the pairwise. In addition, for Atlantic Hockey to get two or more teams in an NCAA Tournament for just their second time, they fundamentally have to win these types of early season games more often.

This game presents a clash of styles in this game. Older and more physical in Bentley is going up against a team with more NHL draft picks, and a roster that is a little younger. For a season opener, this game promises to be a high octane affair with two clashing styles right away in Boston. How it goes for the Falcons could give them a positive data point in the rest of their season. Bentley likes to play Hockey East teams in part due to geography, and also because the teams they play make their group better, if the Falcons can open the season with a win over one, then it could show us how far this group can fly this season.

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