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Bentley defeats Northeastern at the JAR to finish weekend sweep

Bentley completed a weekend sweep of Northeastern with a 4-1 win on Saturday night, its first-ever home game against a Hockey East opponent at John A. Ryan Skating Arena.

Jim Pierce

WATERTOWN, Mass. -- Saturday was a night the Bentley University hockey program had never experienced before.

After senior Andrew Gladiuk provided all the Falcons' offense in a Friday night win at Matthews Arena, Northeastern took to the road for the first time this season and became the first Hockey East team to ever visit Bentley at John A. Ryan Skating Arena.

The Falcons started fast with two goals in the first period and played a complete 60 minutes en route to finishing a weekend sweep of the Huskies with a 4-1 win.

Regardless of how his team would end up faring, it was a night and an opportunity Bentley head coach Ryan Soderquist was just happy for his team to have.

"We were extremely happy for Northeastern coming here," Soderquist said. "I have great respect for their program to give us the opportunity to play here. We're a growing program, and it's going to take people like (Northeastern head coach) Jim Madigan who have class for the game and want the game to grow to come into a building like ours."

The Falcons opened the scoring just 1:13 into the game as Mike Berry's shot from the point tipped off Northeastern goaltender Derick Roy's glove and into the back of the net.

Bentley pressured right from the start and took a lead in the first period for the second consecutive night, thanks to the first goal of the season by the junior defenseman from Alberta.

"I was obviously pretty proud of our guys to come out and play the style that they played for 60 minutes," Soderquist said. "I thought we stole one and our goalie stole one last night, and he played extremely well again tonight, but I also thought our boys played 60 minutes of hockey and earned that victory."

Junior Will Suter doubled the hosts' lead at 6:56, camping out on the right side of Roy's crease to tip in a beautiful pass from senior defenseman Matt Blomquist who started the play with excellent work quarterbacking the offense from the point.

The Huskies' inability to crack the scoreboard was not for a lack of opportunities as sophomore goaltender Jayson Argue stopped 16 shots in each of the first two periods, including several of high quality.

"Obviously, it wasn't the start we were looking for where they got a goal a minute into the game and then we got on the edge a little bit," Madigan said. "But every time we started to get some things going, we'd get a penalty. We fought it at the net again tonight."

Argue stopped NU's best chance of the first period in its final three minutes, using only his stick to literally swat junior defenseman Matt Benning's shot from the high slot out of mid-air and into the corner.

"It was a special weekend, but our expectations with him are that he's going to give us a chance to win every single night and hold teams to two (goals) or less," Soderquist said of Argue. "He certainly did that this weekend, but I thought our defensemen did a lot better job picking up second and third chance opportunities (than in Friday's game)."

Gladiuk continued to show a hot stick, scoring Bentley's only goal of the second period and his fourth of the series at the 10:37 mark. With the Huskies down two men, the senior captain worked his way into the left circle and snapped a shot high on Roy.

Just after Gladiuk extended the Falcons' lead to three goals, Argue moved across his crease to stop NU sophomore Dylan Sikura as he streaked through the slot and towards goal. The Swan River, Manitoba, native finished the game with an even 40 saves, a night after shattering his career high with 49.

Madigan opted to make a goaltending change following Bentley's fourth goal, inserting freshman Ryan Ruck for his first collegiate action.

The Californian stopped all six shots he faced in the remainder of the final period and sparked the Huskies to break the shutout at the 7:05 mark as sophomore Nolan Stevens went hard to the net and put home the rebound that followed classmate Dylan Sikura's shot.

"It was more to get Ryan some time," Madigan said. "The fourth goal (on Roy) was early and I thought it would give our team a spark also. Sometimes goaltender changes do that. Ryan is a freshman, so the kids will be a little tighter defensively in their own zone and try to make it easier for him."

The game marked the Falcons' first at home against a non-conference opponent in three years and was their fourth win in a row against Northeastern dating back to 2010.