Waltham, MA — The Bentley Falcons enjoyed a successful first full season in their shiny new building. A twelve game point streak lifted Ryan Sodorquist’s team to the second seed in the Atlantic Hockey Tournament, the highest position since the 2013-2014 season. Their run fell just short against the eighth-seeded Robert Morris Colonials in a tight, three-game AHA Quarterfinal Series.
On Friday night, the Falcons welcomed the Colonials back to Waltham for the first time since the postseason. RMU aimed to improve their conference standings lead while Bentley tried to reverse a two-game losing streak. Ultimately, the Colonials survived a furious Falcon comeback to balloon their conference lead somewhat.
The teams piled up eight shots each in the opener and had one goal each. Brett Orr opened the Falcon scoring 4:49 into the game and Jacob Coleman answered at the 13:39 mark of the period.
Bentley thoroughly controlled the second period but could not crack RMU goaltender Justin Kapelmaster. The Falcons won the shot counter 13-9 and piled up multiple sequences of peppering the RMU net. However, The Colonial’s senior from Coral Springs stopped every shot and his offense did good work. First, Captain Nick Prkusic capped a nice transition play with a goal. And second, Brendan Michaelian scored a beautiful breakaway goal for a 3-1 lead.
The offensive surge continued for RMU in the third. Nick Prkusic scored his second of the night on a power play. Less than two minutes later, Roman Kraemer scored his first collegiate point to make the score 5-1. Bentley still had plenty of fight left in them. Brendan Hamblet scored twice off Jakov Novak passes. The first was a shorthanded play off the face-off.
The second was an even-strength marker with 3:16 left. After a pair of Colonial penalties and an extra skater replacing the goalie, Hamblet and Novak, the latter an Ottawa Senators draft pick, reversed their roles with Novak roofing a goal on Kapelmaster and the Falcons trailed by only one. They got no closer. Justin Addamo’s empty netter (which flew between the metal rafters in the roof before bouncing in the crease and into the net) ended the scoring at 6-4.
Robert Morris improves their record to 6-4 and 6-1 in Atlantic Hockey. They lead the conference by three points over second-placed Sacred Heart.
Justin Kapelmaster stopped 32 of 36 shots faced.
Bentley drops to 3-7 and 2-6 in AHA play. The Falcons sit in seventh place.
After his 1G,2A,3PTS performance, Jakov Novak is Atlantic Hockey’s leading scorer.
The teams complete their series on Saturday night at 5:05 pm ET at the Bentley Arena. RMU goes for the season sweep of the Falcons. The Colonials then spend next weekend at home against Air Force while Bentley isn’t playing until Tuesday, the 26th, when the Brown Bears pay a visit to Waltham.