HAMDEN, Conn. — The upstart Bentley Falcons went on the road in hopes of upsetting another MAAC powerhouse Saturday night, but fell to the Quinnipiac Bobcats by the score of 5-1.
Bentley, while playing much better than expected this season, has now lost to Quinnipiac 17 games in a row.
The Bobcats took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Brian Hebert and John Kelly and never looked back. A week off seemed to benefit Quinnipiac, which came out firing, putting 20 shots on Falcons goalie Simon St. Pierre in the first frame.
“Honestly, I don’t think we played well. I think Quinnipiac is a great team and any time you get down two goals to a great team you have an uphill battle to go,” said Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist.
In the second period it was more of the same on the scoreboard as Quinnipiac doubled the lead on goals by Matt Froehlich and Matt Craig. Craig’s goal was especially nice as he deked St. Pierre, then put home his 16th goal of the season.
Quinnipiac made it 5-0 in the third and goaltender Jamie Holden almost had a shutout, but with less than five minutes left to play Paul Markarian spoiled it by tipping a shot by Ryan Mayhew into the net.
“Jamie Holden was outstanding in net. He really should have had a shutout,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “I think tonight he just looked real confident. Bentley was throwing a lot of perimeter shots on him early and he got into a rhythm because of that.”
A week ago, Bentley upset second-place Mercyhurst in a game that saw the Falcons get out to a big lead early. Saturday night, the opposite was true as the Falcons tried to play catchup.
“On any given night I don’t know which team’s better,” said Soderquist. “It definitely wasn’t the same performance that we had as a team last week. Especially staying focused, staying to our game plan and just being ready to go.”
After back-to-back Saturday home games, Quinnipiac takes a weekend out west playing Air Force next Friday and Saturday.
“We haven’t played with enough competitive fire that we need to and we’ve done that the last two games,” said Pecknold. “I’m hoping this trip kind of brings the guys together a little bit more.”
“The best part of our team is that we bounce back. Seems to be after our losses we bounce back and play our best game the next night,” said Soderquist. “So we’re hoping that carries into next week. We had a tough game that will get us back on track, get us focused and be ready to go for Friday night.”
The Falcons will be playing Iona on Friday and Saturday night in a home-and-home series.