NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Niagara University scored a goal in each period and freshman Scott Arnold had two as the Purple Eagles took the first ever matchup against Bentley University, 4-1 in Atlantic Hockey play Friday night.
The loss snaps Bentley's two-game winning streak and drops its record to 2-4-1 overall and 1-1 in Atlantic Hockey play. Niagara, in its first year in the conference, wins its second straight and goes to 4-3-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
The Purple Eagles took a 1-0 lead just before the midway point of the opening period when Arnold netted his first of the game.
Niagara made it 2-0 at 12:38 of the second when senior Bryan Haczyk scored for the fifth time this season. The Falcons though made it a one-goal game less than three minutes later on freshman Brett Gensler's (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) third of the year. Seniors Erik Peterson (Shorewood, Minn./Sioux Falls Stampede) and Dustin Cloutier (Berkley,Mich./Mahoning Valley Phantoms) had the assists.
A key moment in the game happened at the 17:26 mark of the period when sophomore Brett Hartung (Tallahassee, Fla./Wichita Falls Wildcats) was given a game misconduct and a five-minute major for contact to the head. Bentley killed off the penalty for the rest of the period, but just 21 seconds into the third, Niagara's Giancarlo Iuorio made them pay with a goal, making it 3-1.
Bentley's last chance came with 1:41 left in the game when Niagara was whistled for a penalty and the Falcons pulled goalie Joe Calvi (New Lenox, Ill./New England Jr. Huskies) for a 6-on-4 advantage, but Arnold scored an empty-netter with 42 seconds left to seal the win.
Niagara's Andrew Hare made 20 saves for the win.
The two teams are back at it Saturday night for the second game of the series.
At Niagara University, N.Y.
Bentley (2-4-1, 1-1 AHA) 0 1 0 -- 1
Niagara (4-3-2, 3-1 AHA) 1 1 2 -- 4
1st Period: N, Scott Arnold (Dan Weiss) 9:58
2nd Period: N, Bryan Haczyk (C.J. Chartrain, David Ross) 12:38; B, Brett Gensler (Erik Peterson, Dustin Cloutier) 15:20
3rd Period: N, PP Giancarlo Iuorio (Paul Zanette, Ryan Annesley) 0:21; N, SH EN Arnold (Ryan Murphy) 19:18
Shots: N, 37; B, 21
Saves: N, Andrew Hare 20; B, Joe Calvi 33
Penalties: N, 3-6; B, 5-21
Power Plays: N, 1-5; B, 0-3