Youth was served at Bentley in 2005-06, as the Falcons’ crop of rookies matured throughout the season, culminating in Bentley’s first-ever appearance in the conference championship game.
“We’re hopeful that the freshmen from last season will continue to improve,” said coach Ryan Soderquist. “Plus, I think we have some great new players.”
Soderquist says that as Bentley continues to get better — the Falcons posted their best winning percentage in seven years last season — he continues to be able to bring in higher-skilled players.
“With our team and our league continuing to improve, it gives us the opportunity to get a better player,” he said. “We still have to battle but we’ve had some success. To get a player like (Mark) Menzione, who was recruited and had offers from some high-profile schools, was very important for us. We’re starting to get in that mix.”
Bentley’s top four scorers were underclassmen last season: Freshmen Anthony Canzoneri (31 points last season), Jeff Gumaer (16 goals to lead the team),Dain Prewitt (24 points), and sophomore Marc Zwicky (20 points).
The blue line has a more mature look, with junior Jaye Judd and senior Kyle Larman back. Expect senior goaltender Ray Jean to get the bulk of the work in net.
“Jean is our main guy and had a solid season last year (.916 SV%, 2.86 GAA)”, said Soderquist. “We expect him to pick up where he left off.”
Bentley starts its season with five consecutive road games, including a trip to Air Force. The Falcons will play eight of their first 11 games away from home. Soderquist is proud of his nonconference schedule, which includes Colgate, Princeton, and UNO.
“We’ve been trying to improve our non-league games each season,” he said. “They will help us with what we think will be a very competitive league. We’ve added two competitive teams to the mix, and last year the standings came down to the last game.
“There were two points separating the top three teams, one point separating four and five, and two points between six through eight. I expect it to happen again this season.”