Gensler’s Late Goal Lifts Bentley Past UConn 3-1

Brett Gensler
Brett Gensler

WATERTOWN, Mass. – Junior Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) scored a brilliant tie-breaking goal with 2:44 remaining, and tacked on a late empty-net goal as Bentley University rallied past UConn for a 3-1 victory Saturday night in Atlantic Hockey play at Ryan Skating Arena.

The game was scoreless after two periods, but the action picked up in a frantic third period that saw the Falcons fall behind early, tie the score minutes later and have Gensler score the winner with just under three minutes remaining.

With the contest knotted at one Bentley had the puck in the offensive zone. Defenseman Matt Blomquist (Blaine, Minn./Coulee Region Chill) got the play started by feeding defenseman Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers) a pass across the blue line. Weinstein took a shot from the point that Gensler, positioned in the slot, got his stick on and redirected past goalie Garrett Bartus for the spectacular go-ahead goal.

Bartus was pulled for an extra-attacker after a Huskies timeout with 1:27 remaining. Bentley whittled the clock down to under 50 seconds when Weinstein gained control of the puck deep in UConn's zone in the corner. He then flipped an ice-length pass to a wide open Gensler in the neutral zone, who skated in untouched for the tap-in goal with 44 seconds remaining to give Bentley a 3-1 lead and put the game away.

The Falcons fell behind 1-0 just 40 seconds into the third period on an unassisted goal by Sean Ambrosie, who scored on a breakaway after a Bentley turnover in the neutral zone. But Bentley wasted little time tying the score. Just 27 seconds into a power play, Blomquist gained control of the puck in the offensive zone off a Huskies turnover, and put a shot on net that bounced off Bartus and went in at 3:24 for his first career goal.

Blomquist had a hand in all three goals for a three-point night.

Falcons goalie Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) put in a stellar effort and was a big reason for the victory, turning away 28 shots to earn his fourth victory of the season.

Bentley improves to 5-4-0 overall and 4-2-0 in Atlantic Hockey with the win, while UConn falls to 2-5-1 overall and 1-4-0 in the conference.

Bentley is back on the ice next Friday night at home when they open a series with Mercyhurst. Face-off is 7:05 pm.