WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross' Jay Silvia broke a 3-3 tie with 7:02 remaining in the game as the Crusaders defeated Bentley University 4-3 Friday night in a hard-fought Atlantic Hockey game at the Hart Center.
The win is the eighth in 10 games for Holy Cross and extends its unbeaten streak to 10 at 8-0-2. The Falcons fall to 10-17-5 overall and 9-13-4 in Atlantic Hockey with the loss. The defeat, combined with wins by UConn and Army, means Bentley will play at home in the first round of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament on March 5.
Played in front of a loud home crowd on Senior Night, the teams went at it in a fast-paced, hard-hitting game.
A Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) goal, his 13th of the season, 2:08 into the third period tied the score at three after Bentley had trailed 3-1 in the second period. Senior Erik Peterson (Shorewood, Minn./Sioux Falls Stampede) set the goal up with a pretty pass, sliding the puck across the crease to Gensler, who one-timed it past goalie Adam Roy.
However, Silvia scored the winner for Holy Cross, taking a shot on net that slid past goalie Kyle Rank (Islip, N.Y./Markham Waxers) with traffic in front of the net.
The game was tied 1-1 after the first period, but the Crusaders took a two-goal lead early in the second, scoring twice in 50 seconds.
Senior Everett Sheen broke a 1-1 deadlock at 2:28. On its next possession, Holy Cross had a rush down the ice that resulted in a shot from the right wing by Matt Celin and a kick save from Rank. The puck though went right to Jamie Jelinek crashing the net from the left wing for an easy goal.
Bentley limited the damage the rest of the period and kept Holy Cross off the scoreboard. They were rewarded when sophomore Brett Hartung (Tallahassee, Fla./Wichita Falls Wildcats) made it 3-2 at 14:33, putting a puck on net from just inside the blue line that Roy never saw.
Holy Cross' J.P. Martignetti scored the first goal of the game at 4:21 in the first, but Bentley tied it up at 15:22, with the goal coming from an unlikely source, as senior Brandon Graffunder (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Alaska Avalanche) potted his first career goal.
Roy made 17 saves for the win, while Rank stopped 28
These teams will close out the regular season Saturday night at Ryan Skating Arena in the second game of the series.
At Worcester, Mass.
Bentley (10-17-5, 9-13-4 AHA) 1 1 1 -- 3
Holy Cross (15-14-4, 14-8-4 AHA) 1 2 1 -- 4
2nd Period: HC, Everett Sheen (Shayne Stockton, Adam Schmidt) 2:38; HC, Jelinek (Celin, Jeff Reppucci) 3:28; B, Brett Hartung (Justin Breton, Switzer) 14:33
3rd Period: B, Brett Gensler (Erik Peterson, Switzer) 2:08; HC, Jay Silvia (Matt Clune, Matt Davis)
Shots: HC, 32; B, 20
Saves: HC, Adam Roy 17; B, Kyle Rank 28
Penalties: HC, 4-8; B, 5-10
Power Plays: HC, 1-5; B, 0-4