The Bentley Falcons’ goal is simple — recapture the magic that saw them reach the Atlantic Hockey finals three years ago.
Since then, Bentley has finished in eighth place the past two seasons. Coach Ryan Soderquist says the lack of improvement last year was especially disheartening.
“I was extremely disappointed in the way we finished,” said Soderquist. “We didn’t have the effort we needed at the end of the season and in our playoffs with Air Force.”
The good news is that despite being picked to finish ninth in this year’s preseason poll, the Falcons return almost intact and can hopefully use that experience.
“We have what it takes,” said Soderquist. “We need these 27 guys to decide what kind of season they want to have.”
Bentley will look to seniors Dain Prewitt (32 points last season) and Jeff Gumaer (18 points), as well as AHA Rookie of the Year Erik Peterson (16 goals) to light the lamp and All-Rookie goaltender Joe Calvi (.913 save percentage) to hold down the fort.
Soderquist says the Falcons have added some talented freshmen to a defense has to provide better support to Calvi, who saw 1,025 shots last season.
“We need to play with more confidence on defense,” he said. “We gave the opposition too much room to work last season.”
Bentley’s schedule includes nonconference games at Ohio State, Maine, Colgate, and Rensselaer.
“It’s the best schedule we’ve ever had,” said Soderquist. “Senior leadership will be the key. When this senior class were freshmen, they took us to the (AHA) finals. They know how hard you have to work to get there. We’re a senior-heavy team and we finish up with a lot of home games. Hopefully, that will work to our advantage.”