"We had talented young guys but not the
mentality," said Soderquist, who lost nine seniors
from his team which reached the finals of the Atlantic Hockey
playoffs in 2006.
A seventh-place finish and first-round playoff
ouster are all in the past now. Bentley has its balance
back, with experienced veterans leading a cast of young,
Despite dropping their first four games, all
in non-conference play, the Falcons have roared back with
four wins and a tie in their first seven league contests
to take over first place. Bentley has already blanked Air
Force and knocked off Sacred Heart, two of the top preseason
"We're pretty happy with how the team
has responded to last year, which was a disappointing year
for us," Soderquist said. "Through the course
of the off-season and the fall, we got our attitude together
and have the right attitude going into the season."
Nine players have lit the lamp this season.
Junior Dain Prewitt and sophomore Marc Menzione lead the
way with five goals. The line of Prewitt, Anthony Canzoneri
and Jeff Gumaer has accounted for 18 points. Defensemen
Jaye Judd and Joe Cucci are providing senior leadership
and solid blue-line play.
Freshman netminder Joe Calvi is the latest
spark. He has started all seven league contests and has
posted a miniscule 1.54 goals against average and eye-opening
.944 save percentage.
"We are extremely satisfied with his
play thus far," Soderquist said. "We expected
him to be good and be able to take on some of the load,
but he has kind of jumped the gun and taken on all of the
The 6-foot Calvi plays the shooters aggressively,
he has been making the first save and he has not been allowing
rebounds. Soderquist said the young goalie has earned the
respect of his teammates by being one of the hardest workers
on the team.
SEEN AND HEARD IN ATLANTIC HOCKEY
First-Place Showdown: The
series between Army and Bentley seems to be heating up a
bit, especially with the two clubs meeting in the playoffs
each of the past two seasons. Bentley posted a double-overtime
victory in 2006 and Army bounced back with a solid 6-2 win
"We have created a little rivalry over
the years," said Army coach Brian Riley, whose team
hosts Bentley in a weekend series between the top two teams
in the league.
Army has a long-established reputation for
being very hard working, but so does Bentley.
"They seem to be similar to us,"
Riley said. "Bentley has that work ethic. They are
a hard-working, blue-collar team."
"We are excited for this matchup,"
said Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist. "I think our guys
are ready to play."
Centurions: There have been
13 players who have surpassed 100 career games during this
season. The newest additions are Army's Bruce Hollweg and
Chris Colvin (104), Luke Flicek and Jeff Fearing (103) and
Chase Podsiad and Robb Ross (101); Mercyhurst's Ben Cottreau
(108); Bentley's Jaye Judd (107) and Joe Cucci (103); Holy
Cross' Chris Trovato (104); Air Force's Josh Schaffer (101);
AIC's Bryan Jurynec (100); and, Sacred Heart's Nick Kary
Ready to join the list soon are AIC's Greg
Genovese (99), Chris Bolognino (99) and Jereme Tendler (96);
Canisius' David Kasch (99) and Greg Brown (96); Holy Cross'
Cal St. Denis and Frank O'Grady (96); Mercyhurst's Ryan
Toomey (95); and, RIT's Ricky Walton (93), Matt Smith (91),
Darrell Draper and Simon Lambert (90).
Great Weekend Getaway
It's a first-place showdown at Tate
Rink as No. 1 Bentley plays at No. 2 Army in a weekend
series. Bentley has just one loss in its last five
games, and has already won both of its road games
in league play. Army has started to find its scoring
touch, producing four goals in four of the last five
games. These two teams have met in the playoffs in
each of the past two seasons.
Owen Meyer was nursing a bum ankle and still managed
to score four goals in a weekend sweep of American
International. His hat trick on Saturday was his first
International College is no longer the only team in
America without a power-play goal, but the Yellow
Jackets are converting at a woeful 5.3 percent, which
makes it difficult to win games.
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE BAG
• Scoring milestones – Holy Cross
senior forward Dale Reinhardt had two helpers on Saturday
versus Canisius, pushing his career points to 101. He scored
his 40th goal on Oct. 26 against Mercyhurst and now has
41. … Ben Cottreau of Mercyhurst scored his 50th career
goal on Oct. 27 against Holy Cross, and added No. 51 in
Friday's loss at Michigan State. He has 130 career points.
… RIT's Simon Lambert passed 100 career points last
month and now has 107. … AIC's Jereme Tendler potted
his 40th career goal in Friday's loss to Army. … Nearing
40 goals are Alex Parent (38) and Bear Trapp (35) from Sacred
Heart, Matt Smith (38) of RIT and Bentley's Jeff Gumaer
• Army completed a weekend sweep of
American International College with a 7-1 rout on Saturday
at West Point. It was Army's most goals in a game since
a 9-2 exhibition win over Ryerson on Oct. 11, 2003, and
a 9-2 MAAC win over Bentley on Nov. 30, 2001 – it
was also the largest margin of victory since those same
two games. It was AIC's largest loss and most goals allowed
since an 8-1 setback at Quinnipiac on Feb. 13, 2007.
• Bentley and Connecticut split a weekend
set, each winning on the opposition rink. Bentley coach
Ryan Soderquist is still steamed about his team blowing
a 2-0 lead as Connecticut rallied for a 3-2 overtime win
on Saturday. Steve Bergin, Matt Pedemonti and Michael Coppola
scored for the Huskies.
• Mercyhurst has lost three games by
the identical 6-2 score. Air Force won the first on Nov.
3 and host Michigan State swept the weekend set. The Lakers
gave up at least five goals in three consecutive games four
times this decade: Nov. 23-30, 2002; Nov. 8-15, 2003; Nov.
22-26, 2005; and, Oct. 28-Nov. 4, 2006. The worst stretch
was the first set of dates as Mercyhurst lost 5-3 to RPI,
5-1 to Denver and 10-2 to Colorado College.
• Canisius is already 0-4 in games decided
by one goal. American International is 0-2.
• Bentley has not won at West Point's
Tate Rink since March 2004. The Falcons lost two at Tate
Rink in 2004-05, tied twice in 2005-06 and lost three in
2006-07. Army won four of five overall meetings last season.
• Mercyhurst plays a set at Rochester
Institute of Technology this weekend. The Lakers are finishing
off the first of two six-game roadstands (1-3 thus far).
Mercyhurst split at RIT last season.
• When Canisius visits American International
College this weekend, the Golden Griffins will still have
the stinging memory of last season's 2-1 playoff loss fresh
on their minds. Mark Pavli and Mike McMillan scored goals
for AIC, the latter coming with less than eight minutes
• Air Force standout and Hobey Baker
candidate Eric Ehn is one goal shy of 50 for his career.
His next point will give him 130 for his career.
• How new is the goaltending corps in
the league? The career leaders in appearances are AIC junior
Tom Fenton (59), Army junior Josh Kassel (39) and Air Force
senior Ian Harper (35).
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Ken McMillan can be reached