Bentley used three power-play goals to go along with an empty-net tally in a 4-1 victory against the Canisius College hockey team on Saturday afternoon. The loss drops the Griffs to 8-12-1 and 7-6-1 against Atlantic Hockey foes, while the Falcons improve to 12-8-2 and 10-3-2 in league play.
“We knew coming into the weekend that Bentley was a great transition and power-play team and we weren’t able to stop them today,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “We had decent energy and we did a good job early taking the puck hard to the net, which drew some scoring chances and penalties. We need to remain committed and stay consistent with that and also do a better job in the special-teams game if we want to be successful tomorrow.”
Junior Tyler Wiseman scored the lone goal for the Griffs, while junior Keegan Asmundson recorded 26 saves in defeat.
Canisius grabbed the early lead in the contest when Wiseman netted his third tally of the season. On a rush, Wiseman gathered a loose puck in the slot and sent a wrist shot over the left shoulder of the Bentley netminder for the 1-0 advantage. Freshman Shane Conacher and sophomore Ralph Cuddemi both posted assists on the tally just 1:43 into the contest.
The Griffs then should have extended their lead to two six minutes into the game but the referee waved off a Canisius goal. Senior Kyle Gibbons blocked a Bentley shot, gathered the puck and skated into the Falcons zone, sending a shot on goal. The puck deflected off the Bentley goalie and trickled toward the net. Gibbons then skated behind the goalie and tapped the puck into the net with his stick but the referee saw it differently and ruled he kicked it in, preventing Canisius from taking its 2-0 lead.
The Falcons were able to take advantage of the official’s decision with success on the power play. Bentley scored its first extra-man goal with just 42 seconds remaining in the first period when Jared Rickord knocked the puck in from close range, squaring the contest at one after 20 minutes of play.
Bentley then took the lead when Andrew Gladiuk scored his first of two power-play goals on the day. He netted the go-ahead tally 9:37 into the second frame after a Bentley player knocked the puck across the goal crease to Gladiuk, who then scored with an open look for the 2-1 advantage.
The game remained a one-goal contest until the closing minutes when Canisius was whistled for a five-minute major penalty with just 7:58 left in regulation. The Falcons once again took advantage of the extra man when Gladiuk scored with 5:02 remaining in the game for the 3-1 lead. Bentley then sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left for the 4-1 final score.
The Falcons finished the game with a 30-21 advantage in shots. Bentley controlled the special-teams battle, going 3-for-5 with the extra-man advantage and killing all four Canisius power plays.
Branden Komm recorded 20 saves in the winning effort for Bentley.
The schools wrap up the two-game series tomorrow afternoon. Game time at the Buffalo State Sports Arena is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.
Game Notes: The teams were meeting for the first time since Canisius swept a two-game Atlantic Hockey First Round series last season en route to the conference title … Cuddemi has matched his career-best point streak at five games … Canisius allowed three power-play goals for the first time in an Atlantic Hockey contest since Mercyhurst also scored three on Dec. 9, 2011.