WATERTOWN, Mass. – Sophomore Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) notched a hat trick and goaltender Blake Dougherty (East Amherst, N.Y./Bay State Breakers) recorded a shutout as the Falcons blanked Niagara 6-0 in Atlantic Hockey action Friday night at Ryan Arena.
The Falcons' nationally top-ranked power play had another stellar night going 2-3 with the goals coming from French in the first period and defenseman Matt Maher (Avon, Conn./Westside) in the second. French's hat trick is the first of his career and brings his goals tally to eight on the season.
Dougherty meanwhile continued his strong start to the season. He made 33 saves, and both of his wins this season have been shutouts. He lowered his goals against average to 1.40.
French got the scoring started with a power play goal just 5:49 into the first period. A shot from the point by defenseman Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers) was saved by Niagara goalie Jackon Teichroeb, but the rebound bounced to Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside) in front of the net. Grieve then fed French on the far post to give Bentley a 1-0 lead.
The Falcons then created separation in the second period with three goals. The first came from French at 10:53 with Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo) on the assist, one of three assists and four points for Gladiuk. Gladiuk scored a goal of his own less than four minutes later to make it 3-0.
Maher's power play goal at 17:06 made it 4-0. Freshman Ryan McMurphy (Broken Arrow, Okla./Tri-City Storm) set the goal up with a nice backhanded pass to Maher on the far post, who blasted his shot past Teichroeb.
The third period goals came from Michael Reardon (Norwood, Mass./South Shore Kings) at 2:44 and French at 5:31. The assists on both goals came from freshman Andrew McDonald (New Brighton, Minn./Fargo Force) and Gladiuk. Dougherty saved his best work for the final 20 minutes with 14 saves to preserve the shutout.
With the victory the Falcons improve to 4-4 overall and 2-1 in AHA play. They'll go for the series sweep tomorrow night in a game that begins at 7:05.