“Desbiens” can be loosely translated as “the goods,” and the Bentley freshmen lived up to his surname, scoring his first collegiate hat trick to lead Bentley to a 6-3 win over RIT.
The Falcons recorded their first weekend sweep of the season, avenging a pair of Tigers’ wins at the John A. Ryan Skating Center back in October.
“Our goal in the year was to break (the season) down into series,” said Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist. “We play (RIT) four times and losing two at home, this was good to even up this series.”
Kyle Schmidt had a pair of goals for the Falcons, including an empty-net tally with 49 seconds left that sealed the victory.
“We scored some pretty optimistic goals that put us over the hurdle,” said Soderquist. “RIT pressed hard; they played hard. We had the puck luck and they didn’t.”
“Hat trick or no hat trick, it feels great to get the first sweep of the season and maybe move up in the standings,” said Desbiens, who now has eight goals on the season. “It was a good night for me and I’ll take it.”
Jason Argue made 33 saves for the win, keeping pace with teammate Aiden Pelino, who stopped 34 shots in Friday’s 3-2 win.
“We feel very confident in both (goaltenders),” said Soderquist. “There’s some competition, healthy competition. That’s something that we haven’t had, but it’s been good for us and we’re rolling with that right now.”
The Falcons were 1-for-3 on the power play, holding RIT scoreless in its five attempts. For the weekend, Bentley was 3-for-5 with the man advantage and kept the Tigers off the board in eight chances.
“Our PK was great,” said Soderquist. “Special teams in the first half of the year was a disaster for us.
“We left Christmas break at nine percent on the power play, and we’ve been about 35 percent since then. The PK struggled as well and we spent a lot of time this week on it, and we felt like it paid off.”
RIT opened the scoring just 3:55 into the contest when Erik Brown converted a pass from Abbot Girduckis that beat Argue glove side.
The Tigers had a 9-1 advantage in shots on goal by the midway point of the first period, but Argue kept the Tigers off the board and the Falcons were able to tie the game at 10:59 on the first of Desbiens’ three goals.
Bentley took the lead early in the second period on a nice individual effort by Drew Callan, who generated a turnover in the corner and then walked in and beat RIT goalie Mike Rotolo five-hole to make it 2-1 Falcons.
Desbiens gave Bentley a two-goal cushion just 47 second later, putting home a feed from Max French.
RIT responded with a pair of goals late in the second to even the game 3-3, but Schmidt’s 15th of the season, on a power play 2:25 into the third period, gave the Falcons back the lead.
Bentley put the game away when Desbiens completed his hat trick at 12:27. He gathered a rebound, waited for Rotolo to commit and then roofed a backhand.
“A shot from the point came to my side and I kind of put it off the post,” said Desbiens. “I kind of freaked out after that, because I missed an easy chance, but it came right back to me and I put it in.”
Bentley has won three of its last four games and will host Air Force next weekend. RIT has lost five games in a row, and travels to Robert Morris.
Atlantic Hockey roundup
Canisius 6, at American International 1
The Golden Griffins scored three first-period goals to cruise to their fifth win in a row. Ryan Schmeltzer had a goal and two assists for Canisius, which maintained the lead in the Atlantic Hockey standings. Charles Williams made 25 saves for the Golden Griffins.
Robert Morris 6, at Holy Cross 0
Five different players scored for Robert Morris, which tallied two even-strength, two power-play and two short-handed goals in the first period. Timmy Moore had a pair of goals for the Colonials, while Brady Ferguson recorded his 100th career point on his 16th goal of the season. Dalton Izyk made 25 saves for his fifth career shutout.
Air Force 3, Army 2
Dan Bailey, Tyler Ledford and Michael Wilson scored for the Falcons, who erased a 1-0 Army West Point lead and then held on for the victory to complete a weekend sweep on home ice.
Mercyhurst 4, at Niagara 0
Brandon Wildung stopped all 26 shots he faced as the Lakers completed a weekend sweep. Jonathan Charbonneau scored his team-leading 15th of the season and added an assist, while Derek Barach picked up two assists, giving him 19 of the season.