Boston, Mass. -- The Bentley University hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to seven games on Saturday night at Agganis Arena with a 4-1 victory over Boston University.
"I'd like to congratulate Bentley. I thought they were the better team tonight. They deserved to win. They have some real good players there and they are well coached. Unfortunately we couldn't keep up tonight," said first year Boston University head coach David Quinn.
This was not an upset. This was a very good Atlantic Hockey team that executed its game plan and took advantage of its team speed to generate scoring chances and keep the Terriers off balance all night.
"I think this game opened a lot of people's eyes as to how good we are, but I've felt like we were this good for a long time. Things are coming together. I can't tell you how close this team is. We all know we're playing on a special team," said Bentley goaltender Branden Komm.
Saturday night marked the second big road victory of the season for Bentley against a team from one of the more established conferences. The Falcons beat Nebraska-Omaha, 6-4, on opening night.
"I think it's pretty important coming from a smaller program, and one that is trying to establish itself against a more well established program like BU. It's something our program can build upon," said Switzer.
The game was never really in doubt as Bentley jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the second period with an opportunistic offense that capitalized on its chances.
"[Bentley] was a lot more opportunistic than we were," said Quinn.
"I think we did a good job supporting pucks. Their defense is extremely aggressive. We talked all week that their defense would be stepping up and if we could support it well and chip it behind them, we knew we'd get our fair share of odd man rushes. That was our game plan coming in and it worked out well," said Bentley head coach Ryan Soderquist.
"In our game plan every single night we're trying to get the puck to the net and get as many shots as possible. Up and down I think our team buys into that," said Soderquist, now in his 12th season at his alma mater.
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead 9:44 into the first period when Derek Bacon tipped a Steve Weinstein wrist shot from the point past BU goaltender Matt O'Connor.
Jared Rickford scored a shorthanded breakaway goal to give Bentley a two-goal cushion just 1:40 into the second period. The captain was given a nice lead pass from Alex Kubiak after BU coughed the puck up at its offensive blue line.
The Falcons extended their lead to 3-0 5:45 into the second period on a three-on-one. Matt Blomquist got the puck to Brett Switzer who faked a pass before shooting it past O'Connor who was caught leaning the other way. Weinstein picked up the other assist, his 21st of the season, on the play.
"I got the stretch pass from Matt Blomquist and came down on a three-on-one and I had a lot of room so I was seeing what was available. I was actually looking for a pass, but I just kind of froze him there for a second," said Switzer.
Boston University finally got on the board with 5:04 to play in the game, but it was too little, too late. Matt Lane scored his fourth of the season on the power play with assists going to Ahti Oksanen and Garrett Noonan.
Bentley's all-time leading scorer Brett Gensler capped off the scoring with an empty net goal with 1:58 to play.
Bentley's speed was one of the big stories of the night. There were multiple occasions where a Bentley forward outraced a BU player to a loose puck. He didn't make the score sheet, but Justin Breton, a Fitchburg, Mass. native, showed his speed by beating out a BU defender on two separate occasions to nullify an icing.
"Either they're that fast or we're that slow," said a frustrated Quinn.
Komm, a senior who was invited to the Ottawa Senators development camp this offseason, made 42 saves. "I know that if I make a mistake my team is there to back me up. They did that a lot tonight and made my job a lot easier.
As much jubilation as there was on the Bentley side of things, the mood was somber when Quinn spoke to the media following his team's third straight winless outing.
"There wasn't a whole lot of good for us tonight besides our goalie. He's been great," said Quinn. O'Connor made 31 saves on the night. The Terriers (7-8-2) will have a whole lot of time to think about their recent skid, as they don't see game action again until January 4 against Harvard.
Bentley (8-7-1) will return to action against Holy Cross at Fenway Park on December 28 at 6:30 p.m. The Falcons have the horses to make a deep run in the Atlantic Hockey Association this season, and as of now, they have to be considered the favorite to grab the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
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Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.