"It was a close game going into the third period and Bentley's tempo got us on our heels," said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. "We know that the standings are tight and we have no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We need to regain our confidence and be ready to play next weekend.
Junior Patrick Sullivan and sophomore Cody Freeman both scored for the Griffs in the loss.
Bentley grabbed the early lead in the contest thanks to the first of two goals by Andrew Gladiuk. The freshman scored on the power play from the right boards, sending a wrist shot through a screen and into the back of the net 8:36 into the contest.
The Griffs quickly answered back when Sullivan netted his fourth goal of the season 1:36 later. Freeman forced a turnover in the Bentley zone and fed the puck to Kyle Gibbons. The junior then found Sullivan open in the slot and after making a move, he buried his chance to knot the game at one.
The Falcons reclaimed their lead with 13:42 left in the second stanza when Joe Campanelli scored with an open net on a back-door pass.
Canisius once again quickly responded, netting the tying goal 2:27 after Bentley took the lead. Gibbons sent a cross-ice pass through the low slot and Freeman knocked the puck in on the open net following the back-door pass. Sullivan also posted an assist on Freeman's third goal of the season.
Bentley had a chance to get its lead back less than two minutes later but for the third time this season, junior Tony Capobianco stopped a penalty shot, denying Justin Brenton this time. The Falcons, however, would eventually get their lead back when Gladiuk netted his second of the night. The freshman blocked a shot in the slot, turned around and fired it in for the 3-2 advantage with 5:54 remaining in the second.
The Falcons extended their lead to two early in the third when Brett Gensler finished a 2-1 with 17:30 remaining in regulation. Bentley then sealed the victory with three goals in just over three minutes - two by Brenton and one by Campanelli - as the Falcons finished off the 7-2 victory.
Canisius finished the game with a 37-35 advantage in shots. Both teams had three power-play chances with Bentley going 1-for-3 and killing all three Griff power plays.
Capobianco and sophomore Keegan Asmundson combined to make 28 saves for Canisius. Branden Komm stopped 35 shots in the win for Bentley.
The Griffs continue Atlantic Hockey play next weekend with a home-and-home series against Mercyhurst. The schools open the two-game set in Erie, Pa. on Friday at 7:05 p.m.
Game Notes: Canisius had not allowed more than four goals in a game prior to Saturday's game ... Capobianco is the only goalie in the country with more than one stop on a penalty shot this season. Entering the weekend, only nine other saves nationally had been made on penalty shots ... The last seven games in the series had been decided by one goal (not including empty-netters) prior to Saturday's game ... On Saturday night, Canisius graduate Cory Conacher '11 became the first Griff to appear in an NHL game, recording one goal and one assist for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 6-3 win against Washington.