Bentley Has Big First Period in 4-1 Win over UConn

Jared Rickord
Jared Rickord

WATERTOWN, Mass. – The Bentley hockey team scored three times in the first period on its way to a 4-1 victory over UConn Saturday night in Atlantic Hockey action at Ryan Skating Arena. Senior captain Jared Rickord (Skokie, Ill./Springfield Jr. Blues) led the Falcon offense with three points.

The win moves Bentley, now 12-5-4 in Atlantic Hockey, back into second-place in the standings with 28 points. They jump over UConn, now 12-6-3 in Atlantic Hockey, which has 27 points.

One night after being shutout by the Huskies in the series opener, Bentley wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard on this night. Rickord found the back of the net just 1:54 into the contest to give Bentley a 1-0 lead.

The goal came off a face-off win by junior Alex Kubiak (Tinley Park, Ill./Chicago Steel), who played the puck back to defenseman Matt Maher (Avon, Conn./Westside Warriors) on the blue line. Maher took a shot on net, but Rickord was in front to tip the shot past starting goalie Robby Nichols for his seventh goal of the season.

Bentley held that 1-0 for most of the period, and added to it with two goals just 1:11 apart in the later stages of the period.

Senior assistant captain Justin Breton (Fitchburg, Mass./Boston Jr. Bruins) made it 2-0 at 15:15 with his fourth goal of the year, with the assists coming from Rickord and Kubiak. Breton fired a shot from the right wing that went in top-shelf and over the glove of Nichols.

Breton took a penalty just 11 seconds after his goal after a big hit, but the Falcons responded with a shorthanded goal from junior Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) at 16:16 to go up 3-0. Goaltender Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) was credited with his first career assist after an outlet pass to Switzer created a break down the ice. Switzer converted the chance for his seventh goal of the year to give Bentley a comfortable lead.

Neither team scored in the second period, but the Huskies got on the board at 1:59 of the third period from junior Trevor Gerling to make it a 3-1 game. Bentley though held on the rest of the way, and an empty-net goal by freshman Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./Westside Warriors) provided the final score.

Komm made 33 saves, as Bentley was outshot 34-31, for his 42nd career win.

Bentley next takes on Army in a home-and-home series next weekend. The series opens on Friday night in West Point.