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Bentley's High Powered Offense Invades Boston University

Bentley forwards Andrew Gladiuk and Alex Grieve have won the past two Atlantic Hockey Association Rookie of the Year awards.

Bentley senior forward Brett Gensler
Bentley senior forward Brett Gensler
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Bentley will bring its high powered offense to Agganis Arena on Saturday night to tangle with Boston University in a nonconference battle. The Falcons, averaging 3.27 goals per game, are unbeaten in their last six games.

The Terriers, on the other hand, saw their four game unbeaten streak snapped after a disastrous series against Merrimack last weekend where they only picked up one point.

Boston University will have to buckle down and play good defense against a Bentley squad that has some of the most dangerous offensive players in the Atlantic Hockey Association.

Bentley junior forward Alex Grieve has 12 goals and eight assists in 15 games, good for the Atlantic Hockey lead in overall goal scoring.

Sophomore Andrew Gladiuk has 10 goals and six assists after a freshman campaign that saw the White Rock, British Columbia native named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year. It marked the second consecutive season with a Bentley forward named the league's rookie of the year. Grieve won the award the previous season.

Gladiuk impressed NHL scouts with his play last season as well. He was invited to the Vancouver Canucks Development Camp this past summer.

Then there is senior Brett Gensler, the school's all-time leading scorer at the Division I level, who was so impressive as a sophomore that he won the Walter Brown Award as the top American born player in New England.

Like the Terriers, Bentley has defensemen who are perfectly capable of stepping into the offense. Junior Steve Weinstein, a Los Angeles, Calif. native, has a goal and 19 assists on the season. Sophomore Matt Blomquist missed time due to injury at the beginning of the season, but is a smooth skating blue liner that can create offense.

Branden Komm is one of the best goaltenders in the Atlantic Hockey Association. The Williamsville, NY native played prep hockey at Northfield Mt. Hermon, and has been the starter since his sophomore season. Ryan Soderquist's club has struggled in the defensive zone at times, but Komm has been there to bail his team out. Komm participated in the Ottawa Senators Development Camp this past summer and can steal this game.

Bentley upset Nebraska-Omaha on opening night, and lost one goal games on the road at Maine and Quinnipiac, and lost at Merrimack by two with an empty-net goal.

Boston University has had trouble containing opposing teams who have been able to beat defenders wide and create a speed mismatch. Bentley's top two lines have the ability to do just that, but Boston University's top two lines can also be dangerous for Bentley's defense.

Keys to the Game

  • Special Teams: Both teams are in the top ten nationally for combined special teams statistics. The winner of the special teams battle will most likely come out on top in this game.
  • Goaltending Duel: Matt O'Connor for Boston University and Branden Komm for Bentley will need to make a key save or two to keep their team on the right side of the scoreboard.

Stat (National Rank) Bentley Boston University
Record 7-7-1, 6-2-1 Atlantic Hockey 7-7-2, 2-4-1 HE
Home/Away Record 4-6-1 (Away) 6-2-2 (Home)
Head Coach Ryan Soderquist (144-215-46) David Quinn (7-7-2)
Goals Per Game 3.27 (15th) 2.38 (47th)
Goals Against Per Game 2.80 (32nd) 2.69 (30th)
Power Play Percentage 24.6 (6th) 19.7 (24th)
Penalty Kill Percentage 85.9 (10th) 84.9 (13th)
Top Goal Scorer Alex Grieve (12) Baillargeon/O'Regan/Roberto (5)
Assists Leader Steve Weinstein (19) Ahti Oksanen (9)
Projected Starting Goalie Branden Komm (2.53 GAA/.924 sv pct) Matt O'Connor (2.58 GAA/.931 sv pct)

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