BUFFALO, N.Y. – Canisius College's Cody Freeman scored both of his team's goals, and junior goalie Tony Capobianco made 35 saves as the Golden Griffins eliminated Bentley University from the Atlantic Hockey Tournament Saturday night with a 2-1 victory in game two to sweep the first round series.
Bentley fell behind 2-0 after two second period goals by Freeman, but got to within 2-1 with 4:40 remaining in the game on a goal by freshman Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo Clippers). However, the Falcons could not find the equalizer as Canisius hung on to advance to next weekend's quarterfinals.
Just like in game one, the first period of game two was scoreless. The shots were even at 9-9 and both teams had power play opportunities, but came away empty-handed as Canisius went 0-3 and Bentley 0-2.
Both goalies, Bentley's Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) and Capobianco, were locked in a scoreless draw until the final five-plus minutes of the second period. That changed when Freeman gave his team a 1-0 lead at the 14:36 mark. The goal was setup by junior Kyle Gibbons, who had two assists on the night, after he skated into the offensive zone with a step on his defender. Gibbons continued to skate in on net and had his shot denied by Komm. But the rebound came loose to Freeman, who crashed the net on the far post and knocked the puck in for the goal.
Late in the period Bentley appeared to have tied the game at one when junior Alex Kubiak (Tinley Park, Ill./Chicago Steel) tipped in a shot from defenseman Michael Reardon (Norwood, Mass./South Shore Kings) in front of the net, only to have the goal waved off for playing the puck with a high-stick.
Canisius took advantage just seconds later and scored a big goal to go up 2-0 at 19:01 off the stick off Freeman for his second of the night. After a face-off win by Canisius' Patrick Sullivan in the offensive zone, they played the puck d-to-d on the blue line. The puck found its way to Freeman in the slot, who beat Komm with a shot to the stick side.
Still trailing 2-0 with under seven minutes remaining in the third period, Bentley went on the power play desperately needing a goal. They didn't score on the man-advantage, but just four seconds after the power play ended, Gladiuk put in Bentley's first goal of the series at 15:20 to cut the deficit to 2-1. Senior Dan Koudys (Grimsby, Ontario/Burlington Cougars) and junior Jared Rickord (Skokie, Ill./Springfield Jr. Blues) had the assists.
Bentley's efforts to score the tying goal were then hampered by a questionable charging call that left them shorthanded until there was 1:17 remaining in the game. They were able to kill off the penalty but were left with little time. Komm was pulled for the extra-attacker with 54 seconds to go, but they came up empty.
Canisius improves to 15-18-5 on the season and will play second-seeded Air Force in the quarterfinals. Bentley's season comes to an end at 12-20-3.