WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley head hockey coach Ryan Soderquist has announced his team's freshman class for the upcoming 2012-13 season. The class consists of eight new players; four forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender.
Suiting up for the Falcons next season will be goalie Gabe Antoni (Lansdale, Pa./Springfield Jr. Blues), forward Derek Bacon (Calgary, Alberta/Okotoks Oilers), defenseman Matt Blomquist (Blaine, Minn./Coulee Region Chill), forward Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo Clippers), forward Tyler Krause (Kelowna, B.C./Okotoks Oilers), forward Mark Meads (Middleton, Mass./Valley Jr. Warriors) and defensemen Kyle O'Brien (Tewksbury, Mass./Cushing Prep) and Michael Reardon (Norwood, Mass./South Shore Kings).
"We are extremely excited about our 2012 recruiting class," said Soderquist. "We have added depth in all positions which will allow us to have a more balanced line-up every night."
Antoni split his only season of junior hockey between the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL and the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL, finishing the year with the Blues. In 16 appearances for the Saints he went 10-4-1 with a 2.65 goals against average, and in 21 games for the Blues, posted a 14-4-1 mark with a 2.78 GAA and .914 save percentage.
Bacon served as Okotoks' captain this past season, who play in the AJHL. After missing part of the season with an injury, he returned to post a scoring line of 13-28-41 in 33 games for the Oilers, placing second on the team in assists and tying for second in points. He also played for the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL during the 2009-10 season, and the St. Albert Steel of the AJHL during the 2010-11 campaign, compiling a 27-36-63 line that year.
A 6-3, 210-pound defenseman, Blomquist played in the NAHL for three seasons, the last two with the Coulee Region Chill. During the 2010-11 season, he led all Chill defensemen in both assists (27) and points (34) while chipping in seven goals. Last season he had a 6-19-25 scoring line in 51 games.
Gladiuk is the fourth recruit to come to Bentley directly from the BCHL in the last two years after a productive three-year spell with the Nanaimo Clippers. He led the Clippers in all three offensive categories during the 2010-11 campaign with 25 goals, 40 assists and 65 points. He followed that up with a team-leading 59 points last year on 29 goals (tied for team-lead) and 30 assists.
Krause and Bacon were teammates on the Oilers last season and the two finished with identical 41-point seasons, second best on the squad. Krause's 41 points came on 23 goals and 18 assists. Prior to that, he spent three seasons in the BCHL with the Westside Warriors, where he was teammates with current Falcons Alex Grieve and Matt Maher. In his last two years with the Warriors he totaled 25 goals and 46 assists for 71 points.
Meads played last season in the EJHL with the Valley Jr. Warriors where he put up a 7-12-19 line and helped them qualify for the post season. Prior to joining the Warriors, Meads played prep hockey at Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass.
The only recruit to come directly from the prep ranks, O'Brien starred at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass for three seasons. He was team captain as a senior and was named Cushing's 2012 Defensive Player of the Year. O'Brien was also named both the Top Pro Prospect and Top Defenseman at the 2011 Hockey Night in Boston Tournament.
Reardon, along with Blomquist and O'Brien, will try to help fill the void in Bentley's defensive ranks left by Trent Bonnett and Mike Switzer. Reardon had an impressive 42-point season with the South Shore Kings of the EJHL a season ago, best among the team's defensemen, and his 33 assists was tops among the Kings' D-Men as well and fifth on the team.
These eight will join 17 expected returnees for the Falcons, who open the 2012-13 season at UMass-Lowell Oct. 13.