MILFORD, Conn. – Sacred Heart scored two goals in the final 2:18 of the third period to rally past Bentley University for a 5-4 win Friday night in the Atlantic Hockey series opener at the Milford Ice Pavilion.
The Falcons took a 4-3 lead at 10:26 of the third period on sophomore Andrew Gladiuk's (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo Clippers) second goal of the night and 21st of the season. But Sacred Heart first got a goal from freshman Spencer Graboski at 17:42 to tie the game 4-4, then received another goal just 1:03 later from freshman Jeff Carroll at 18:45 to take the lead. Both goals came off rebounds.
Bentley goalie Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) was pulled in favor of the extra attacker with 1:01 left, but to no avail as the Falcons' three-game winning streak was snapped.
The Falcons started this game out in a big way with two special teams goals in the first 4:13 of the opening period to take a 2-0 lead. Gladiuk first scored on the power play at 2:07, his 15th goal of the season on the man-advantage, on a wrap-around goal with Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside Warriors) and Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) getting the assists.
A little over two minutes later junior Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) scored shorthanded, finishing off a two-on-one with sophomore Derek Bacon (Calgary, Alberta/Okotoks Oilers).
Sacred Heart finished off the first period with a power play goal, but Bentley went back ahead by two goals at 3-1, as Bacon got involved again. This time he finished off a cross-ice pass from senior captain Jared Rickord (Skokie, Ill./Springfield Jr. Blues) with a one-timer at 9:55 of the second.
But the Pioneers finished the period strong with two goals in the last 2:16, sending the game tied 3-3 into the third period. Senior Chad Filteau got the first goal, followed by George netting his second of the night with 52 seconds left with backhand shot after getting spun around.
The Falcons took the lead back at 4-3 on Gladiuk's goal just past the 10 minute mark of the third period, but couldn't hold onto it as Graboski first tied it for Sacred Heart, then Carroll scored the go-ahead goal with 1:15 left.
The defeat drops Bentley's Atlantic Hockey record to 14-6-4, while Sacred Heart's record improves to 9-15-0. The series now shifts to Watertown with Saturday night's game taking place at Ryan Arena. Face off is set for 7:05 pm.