DURHAM, N.H. – Junior goalie Jayson Argue (Swan River, Manitoba/Nanaimo) made 32 saves, and three freshmen playing in their first career games scored to lead the Bentley University hockey team past UNH 5-1 in the Falcons' season opener Saturday night.
Argue was sharp early in weathering the early storm with 14 saves in the 1st period, including several stops as Bentley killed off a UNH 5-on-3 advantage for 1:40 early in the 2nd period.
Freshmen Connor Brassard (Fitchburg, Mass./Jersey Hitmen), Dino Balsamo (Sterling Heights, Mich./Aston Rebels) and Jonathan Desbiens (Montreal, Quebec/West Kelowna) all scored in their first game in a Bentley uniform.
While captain Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) playing in his 101st career game for Bentley, had three assists.
UNH controlled the first 10 minutes of the opening period, but couldn't find their way past Argue. That opened the door for Bentley to jump in front with goals in quick succession by a pair of defensemen. Brassard scored first at 12:33, followed by sophomore Alexey Solovyev's (Moscow, Russia/Lone Star) goal just under two minutes. That goal came off a face-off win by French, who directed the puck to Solovyev, who's shot got through traffic for the goal.
In the 2nd period the Wildcats finally put one past Aruge on their 21st shot, but the momentum was short lived. Balsamo scored at 17:17 to give Bentley a 3-1 lead with a backhander in front of the net after freshman Jake Kauppila (Gurnee, Ill./Trail) dug the puck out of the corner.
Desbiens opened the 3rd period with a goal just 14 seconds in with a shot that rung off the post after taking a pass from behind the net from junior winger Kyle Schmidt (Menomonee Falls, Wisc./Sioux City).
Schmidt added an empty-net goal with 3:29 left in the period to provide the final 5-1 margin.
The Falcons will now take their 1-0 record into next weekend's home and home series with Northeastern.