The Matchup: The Bentley Falcons will play at home for the first time in four weeks this weekend, when they host Robert Morris at the JAR for an Atlantic Hockey series. The first game gets underway at 7:05, and puck drop for Saturday's game is 4:05.
The Falcons will be looking to get back on track and enjoy the comforts of home after a winless weekend at Canisius. That was the final leg of three straight weekends on the road for the team, a trip that started at Niagara and also saw a visit to Merrimack.
The Colonials will come in off a sweep over AIC at home last weekend, with the wins coming by scores of 3-1 and 4-0. RMU is currently 5-5-1 in Atlantic Hockey games (5-7-1 overall), and tied for 5th place in the standings with Niagara with 11 points.
Follow the Games: All Bentley Atlantic Hockey games, home and away, will air on AtlanticHockey.TV, powered by Stretch Internet. The cost for a regular season pass is $104.99, and a day pass is $10.99.
New this season, the service can be accessed using Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV.
Links to live stats can be found at http://bentleyfalcons.com/sports/mice/2017-18/schedule
Last Time Out: Freshman Michael Zuffante scored a 1st period power play goal in Friday's series opener for Bentley at 3:26, which cancelled out Canisius' opening goal which came 42 seconds into the period. After Zuffante's goal tied it 1-1 however, the Griffs scored three times in the 2nd period to lead 4-1 after 40 minutes, and went on to win 5-1. Zuffante's goal was on the power play, Bentley's 11th in 10 games to that point, and was assisted by defensemen Connor Brassard and Alexey Solovyev.
In the second game, 1st period goals by junior Drew Callin and senior Matt Sieckhaus, at 10:20 and 12:25 respectively, staked the Falcons to a 2-0 lead. Junior goalie Jake Bryniarski, who was making his first career start, at seven saves in the first period. The Griffs would notch two goals in the 2nd period to tie the game 2-2 heading into the 3rd period. A goal by first line center Ryan Schmelzer at 4:21 proved to be the game-winner as the Griffs went on to take it 5-2.
Last Season's Meetings: Bentley and Robert Morris played four times last season, two in Watertown and two in Pittsburgh, and the Falcons went 2-1-1. The first series, played in Watertown in early December, saw Bentley win the first game 4-3. They led 2-0 after the first period on goals by Ryner Gorowsky and Mike Berry. RMU cut into the lead with a 2nd period goal, but Max French scored twice in the 3rd period to push Bentley on to the victory. RMU won the second game 4-1. Drew Callin had a 3rd period goal for Bentley.
The teams then met in Pittsburgh in mid-February, which saw Bentley win the first game 3-0, and the second game end in a 1-1 tie. Goalie Aidan Pelino, then a freshman, made 28 saves for his first career shutout, while Callin had two goals. In the second game Pelino made 32 saves, while Jake Kauppila had the Falcons' goal.
Series History: This weekend will be the 24th and 25th meetings all-time. The series is tied 10-10-3. At the JAR, Bentley is 5-2-1 against RMU and 4-1-1 since the Colonials joined Atlantic Hockey. There's been one postseason meeting, in the 2016 quarterfinals, where Bentley as the No. 8 seed pushed the top-seeded Colonials to three games.
Among Bentley's active players, Kyle Schmidt and Chris Buchanan have each suited up 11 times against the Colonials in their careers. Schmidt has six assists in those games. Drew Callin has four goals in six career games. Three of those goals came in last season's four meetings.
These two teams will meet again later this season, in Pittsburgh on the weekend of January 19-20.
Up Next: Bentley will have a quick turnaround after this series, as they visit UMass-Lowell for a non-conference game on Tuesday the 28th. They will then visit AIC on Friday, December 1 for their only game of that weekend.