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Bentley Upsets Nebraska-Omaha To Open Season

Bentley's victory in Omaha is a statement win for a program looking to establish itself as a contender in the Atlantic Hockey Association.

Bentley senior forward Brett Gensler
Bentley senior forward Brett Gensler
Sports Pix

Omaha, Neb.- The upstart Bentley Falcons spoiled the home opener for Dean Blais' Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Friday night. Brett Gensler and Max French each scored twice to propel Ryan Soderquist's squad to a 6-4 victory at the CenturyLink Center.

The Falcons are a potential contender in the Atlantic Hockey Association with a tremendous amount of firepower returning on offense. Gensler, a senior, won the Walter Brown Award as a sophomore. Goal scoring will not be an issue for Bentley this season, but the fate of the Falcons will be determined by how well they do keeping the puck out of their own net.

"We need to be more responsible defensively, if the whole team helps out on the back end we'll be successful," said Soderquist during the league's media day.

It was a disappointing start to the season for a UNO team that faced some adversity in the preseason. Two players were booted from the team following a racially charged altercation outside a bar in Omaha.

Bentley wasn't the only Atlantic Hockey team to pull off a remarkable upset on Friday night. Sacred Heart upset #1 UMass-Lowell at the Tsongas Center, ruining UML's banner-raising ceremony.

The two teams will meet again Saturday night in Omaha.

Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.