Mercyhurst Uses Three Goal Third Period to Top Bentley 4-1

Alex Grieve
Alex Grieve

ERIE, Pa. – Mercyhurst College scored three times in the third period to defeat Bentley University 4-1 in Atlantic Hockey action Saturday night. The Lakers extend their lead to four points over the Falcons for first-place in the AHA standings.

Just as in Friday's game, tonight's contest was scoreless after the first period and tied 1-1 after the second. But on this night Mercyhurst scored three times in the final period to come away with the 4-1 win, despite being outshot 38-29 by the Falcons. Lakers goalie Jordan Tibbett made 37 saves, including 17 in the third period.

The scoring was opened by Mercyhurst's Kyle Cook 4:33 into the second period, from Nardo Nagtzaam and Kyle Dutra, the first of three assists for Dutra. Cook finished off a 2-on-1 break with Nagtzaam into the offensive zone for the goal.

But Bentley tied it up just 40 seconds later on a goal by junior Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside Warriors), with the assists by linemates Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) and Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms), who extended his scoring streak to 15 games. The goal was the 17th of the season for Grieve.

The game then went into the third period tied 1-1, but as opposed to last night, Mercyhurst got the opening goal of the period. Nagtzaam got on the score sheet again, this time by scoring at 4:33 after he tipped in a shot that defenseman Nick Jones threw on net from the right wing to make the score 2-1.

As the Falcons searched for the tying goal, Mercyhurst instead took the first two goal lead of the series at 12:20 on a power play goal by Matthew Zay. After taking a pass from Jones on the blue line, Zay scored with a long shot that got by the glove of Bentley goalie Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon), who made 25 saves on the night.

Trailing by two goals, Bentley pulled Komm with 2:43 left. Bentley created strong pressure with the extra-attacker and put several shots on net but could not solve Tibbett. Mercyhurst then essentially sealed the win with an empty-net goal by Cook with 1:12 left.

The defeat puts an end to Bentley's six-game unbeaten streak, and drops its record to 11-4-4 in Atlantic Hockey. Mercyhurst improves to 13-2-4 in conference play with the win.

Bentley's next series is now a home-and-home with the University of Connecticut, which begins next Friday night in Storrs at 7:05 pm.