For the second consecutive season, Bentley seems far and away the overwhelming pick as cellar dweller. Coming off a season that saw a total of four wins for the Falcons, and their first league win not coming until January 6, it’s hard to imagine, barring a complete overhaul of personnel, that Bentley will become competitive.
The Falcons do return a lot of talent, and didn’t have any major losses, so simple experience would tell the average person that they will win more than four games this season. And thus Jim McAdam’s club may not be knocked out of playoff consideration in early February.
The biggest area of concern for McAdam will again be between the pipes. Having graduated senior Ray DeVincent, who played in all but eight games last season, Bentley will need either a returning goaltender to step comfortably into the role or for freshman Simon St. Pierre to have immediate impact.
A season ago, Bentley finished last in both scoring offense and defense as well as penalty killing, and finished one from the bottom on the power play. The only category Bentley wasn’t near the bottom was team penalty minutes, a stat McAdam would like to see reduced.
If these stats are to show improvement, the team’s leadership will be tested. Players like Marcus Willy and John DiGennaro will have to step up in the forward position, while captain Steve Tobio will have to continue his offensive output while at the same time helping to limit the number of shots that the inexperienced goaltending will see.
All in all, it doesn’t look good for the Falcons, but it’s always a pleasure to prove the skeptics wrong.