WATERTOWN, Mass. – In a high scoring affair at Ryan Arena, Air Force got the better of the Bentley University hockey team 7-4 Friday night in the opening game of a weekend Atlantic Hockey series.
Bentley took a 1-0 lead into the second period on senior Dan Koudys' (Grimsby, Ontario/Burlington Cougars) fourth goal of the season after Tyler Krause (Kelowna, British Columbia/Okotoks Oilers) made a steal behind the Bentley net and fed Koudys in front.
But it all unraveled for Bentley in the second period as Air Force scored four times to Bentley's one, giving the visitors a 4-2 lead after two periods that they could not overcome.
Air Force's Stephen Carew tied the score at the 5:28 mark, the first of two straight goals from him. Then, a little over two minutes later, Alex Halloran was whistled for a five-minute hitting from behind major, giving Bentley's dangerous power play a chance to do damage.
But it was actually Air Force that scored the first goal, as Carew scored again, this time short-handed, at the 8:35 mark after a Bentley turnover in the neutral zone led to an odd-man rush to give Air Force a 2-1 lead.
Before the power play was over though, Bentley lit the lamp again to tie the score at two at 10:20, as sophomore Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside Warriors) tipped in a shot from defensemen Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers).
But it was downhill for Bentley from there. Air Force's Chad Demers scored twice the rest of the period, with the second goal coming just 26 seconds before the end of the period.
Bentley's Brett Hartung (Tallahassee, Fla./Wichita Falls Wildcats) made it a 4-3 game just 53 seconds into the third period, deflecting in a shot from Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints). But that's as close as Bentley could get. Air Force's Cole Gunner scored at 3:24 and Tony Thomas at 6:29 to give them a commanding 6-3 lead.
Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) added a late extra-attacker goal for Bentley with 33 seconds left to make the score 6-4, but Air Force scored an empty-net goal with 10 ticks remaining to finish out the scoring.
Air Force picks up its second straight win and improves to 5-7-3 overall and 4-4-1 in Atlantic Hockey. Bentley has dropped three in a row and falls to 6-8-0 and 5-5-0.
The series concludes Saturday night at 7:05 from Ryan Arena.