Bentley Returns from Winter Break to Face Northeastern in Home-and-Home Series

Kyle Schmidt
Kyle Schmidt

Game Notes

The Matchup: Bentley returns from the winter break and puts its six game winning streak on the line on Friday night when they host Northeastern at the JAR in the first game of a home-and-home series. It's the third straight season the Falcons have hosted Northeastern. The series shifts to Matthews Arena in Boston on Saturday night.

The Falcons come into the weekend with a 7-7-3 overall record, and the nation's third longest winning streak at six games. That streak is surpassed at the moment only by Notre Dame (13 games), the 2nd ranked team in the country, and Clarkson (12 games), the 3rd ranked team in the country. Bentley also received votes in this week's USCHO poll.

Northeastern will come into the weekend ranked No. 9 in the nation, and on a five game unbeaten streak (4-0-1). They returned from the winter break on Dec. 30 with a 3-1 home win over AIC.

Follow the Games: Friday's game at the JAR can be seen on AtlanticHockey.TV. Live stats are available as well.

Saturday's game will be available on GoNUxstream. Live stats are available here

Bentley Arena to Open February 16: Just before the winter break, on December 19, Bentley University President Gloria Larson announced that Bentley Arena will host its first game for the Bentley hockey team on February 16, against Army West Point. The Falcons will play three regular season games in their new home; Feb. 16-17 vs. Army, and Feb. 24 against AIC. The Falcons will play their final games at the JAR in Watertown the weekend of Feb. 9-10 vs. Air Force.

Ticket information for games at Bentley Arena for students and the general public will be announced soon.

Click here for a video tour of the Arena during construction.

Recapping the Streak: Bentley's winning streak began back on Nov. 24, with a 3-1 victory over Robert Morris. They completed the series sweep one night later with a 6-3 victory, in a game that saw six different players score for the Falcons.

Just three nights later, Bentley struck a 3-2 overtime victory over Hockey East's UMass-Lowell, which was ranked 18th at the time. Sophomore Ryner Gorowsky scored the winning goal with 1:26 left in OT.

The Falcons returned to Atlantic Hockey action and kicked off December with a 6-2 win at AIC. Six different players again scored, and freshman Luke Santerno led the way with three points, on one goal and two assists.

Bentley's final week of the first half saw two road wins over ECAC teams, 3-1 over Brown and 5-1 over Dartmouth. Sophomore goalie Aidan Pelino continued to shine with 31 and 30 saves, respectively. Assistant captain Tanner Jago had a goal in each game, and sophomore defenseman Connor Brassard had two goals in the Brown win.

The six game winning streak is the program's longest since moving to Division I for the 1999-2000 season. The previous record was five, achieved in the 2008-09 and 2014-15 seasons. The program's longest ever winning streak is 14 games, during the 1980-81 season.

Special Teams Excelling: Bentley's power play unit is currently ranked 8th in the nation at 25.0% (20-80). During the six game streak, the Falcons are scoring at a 34.6% clip (9-26). The penalty kill has also been very strong, killing off 92.6% of power play plays (25-27) during the streak. They've killed off 19 in a row, going back to the Robert Morris game on Nov. 25, covering more than four and a half games.

Series History: Bentley leads Northeastern 4-3-1 in the all-time series. After dropping the first two games of the series in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, Bentley won four in a row. That was capped by a series sweep in 2015-16, which included a 4-1 win at the JAR. The other three wins came at Matthews Arena.

Last season, the teams tied 1-1 at the JAR. Defenseman Alexey Solovyev scored a short-handed goal for Bentley, and goalie Jayson Argue made 34 saves.

History vs. Hockey East: Bentley claimed its ninth all-time win against a Hockey East school earlier this season when they defeated UMass-Lowell 3-2 in overtime. That was the sixth different school they have beaten, joining Northeastern, BU, New Hampshire, Maine and UMass.

Santerno, Pelino Claim Monthly Awards: Aidan Pelino, who has started all six games during Bentley's winning streak, was named the Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Month for December. In three games, he was 3-0 with a 1.33 goals against average and a .958 save percentage, both tops in the league for the month of December. During the streak, he is 6-0 with a .947 save percentage and 1.65 GAA.

Santerno was named Rookie of the Month after he led Bentley in scoring in December with six points, on two goals and four assists. The B.C. native has three goals and six assists in the last six games. He's tied for the team lead with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists), with Kyle Schmidt and Matt Riggleman.

Scoring Streaks: Riggleman and junior center Drew Callin both have seven game scoring streaks going entering the weekend. Riggleman has four goals and eight assists during his streak, while Callin has notched four goals and six assists.

Up Next: The Falcons have a quick turnaround after this weekend. They host Sacred Heart on Tuesday night in a return to Atlantic Hockey games. It will be Bentley's first conference game since Dec. 1 at AIC.

 

Tale of the Tape

 

 

 

 

Record

7-7-3 (4-6-3 AHC)

11-5-2 (8-3-1 HEA)

Goals Per Game

2.88

3.44

Shots Per Game

27.1

30.6

Goals Allowed Per Game

3.00

2.28

Penalty Minutes

12.2

10.3

Power Play

25.0%

27.9%

Penalty Kill

78.0%

79.3%

Leading Scorers

Kyle Schmidt (6-8-14); Matt Riggleman (3-11-14); Luke Santerno (4-10-14)

Adam Gaudette (12-13-25); Dylan Sikura (9-13-22); Nolan Stevens (10-7-17)

Leading Goaltender

Aidan Pelino: 6-3-0; 2.93 GAA, .906 sv%

Cayden Primeau: 7-3-2; 1.89 GAA, .927 sv%