WATERTOWN, Mass. – Powered by a three-goal second period, AIC earned a split with Bentley University with a 5-1 victory over the Falcons on Saturday night at Ryan Skating Arena.
Despite being outshot 29-27, the Yellow Jackets made the most of their opportunities, including three goals on 12 shots in the second period. Senior Steve McLeod had two goals for the Yellow Jackets, scoring the second and fifth goals of the night for his team.
The loss at least temporarily keeps the Falcons in a tie for second in the Eastern pod with UConn, who plays Sunday afternoon against Sacred Heart.
As they did on Friday night, AIC scored the first goal of the game, with defenseman Mike Little doing the trick at 13:55 of the first. The Falcons though answered back right before intermission on Erik Peterson's (Shorewood, Minn./Sioux Falls Stampede) 11th goal of the season. Peterson took a pass in the slot from Dustin Cloutier (Berkley, Mich./Mahoning Valley Phantoms) and beat AIC freshman goalie Ryan Kerpan with a low wrister.
The second period was where AIC took control of the game however, scoring three times in just over seven minutes. McLeod scored his first of the evening 1:21 in to make it 2-1 for the Yellow Jackets, and a little over two minutes later Jon Puskar made it a two-goal game. Steve Mele added to the visitors' lead at 8:37.
In the third period, McLeod scored again at 9:47 to make it 5-1 and essentially put the game out of reach for the Falcons on this night.
Kerpan made 28 saves to earn his first collegiate win.
The Yellow Jackets improve to 7-18-1 overall and 7-15-1 in Atlantic Hockey, while Bentley drops to 9-15-5 and 8-11-4.
The Falcons take on the aforementioned Huskies next weekend in a home-and-home series beginning next Friday in Watertown.
At Watertown, Mass.
AIC (7-18-1, 7-15-1 AHA) 1 3 1 -- 5
Bentley (9-15-5, 8-11-4 AHA) 1 0 0 -- 1
1st Period: A, Mike Little (Tom Mele, Nick Campanale) 13:55; B, Erik Peterson (Dustin Cloutier, Mike Switzer) 19:48
2nd Period: A, Steve McLeod (Blake Peake, Chris Markiewicz) 1:21; A, Jon Puskar (McLeod, Jeff Ceccacci) 3:55; A, Steve Mele (Nick Sandor, Ryan Kerpan) 8:37;
3rd Period: A, McLeod (Peake, Puskar) 9:47
Shots: B, 29; A, 27
Penalties: B, 6-28; A, 3-6
Power Plays: B, 0-3; A, 0-4