WATERTOWN, Mass. – Army withstood late pressure by Bentley to hang on for a 2-1 victory over the Falcons for a series split Saturday night in Atlantic Hockey action at Ryan Arena.
Bentley outshot the Black Knights 15-4 in the third period, but could not solve goaltender Parker Gahagen. Bentley went on the power play with 1:53 remaining trailing 2-1, and pulled goalie Jayson Argue (Swan River, Manitoba/Nanaimo) with 1:04 left in favor of the extra-attacker and a 6-on-4 advantage. Despite a couple of good looks by defenseman Matt Blomquist (Blaine, Minn./Coulee Region) and Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove), it was the rare case of Bentley's power play not coming up with a goal as Army held on for the win.
Army jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 8:55 of the first period on freshman Tyler Pham's sixth goal of the season. Pham skated down the left wing and tucked a wrist shot from the face-off circle into the near post.
Bentley though tied it up a little less than six minutes later on a goal by senior Alex Kubiak (Tinley Park, Ill./Chicago Steel). Gahagen made a save on a slap shot from the point by Billy Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass./Chicago Steel), but let the rebound bounce free. Kubiak pounced on it and jammed the puck past Gahagen to tie things up 1-1.
Army jumped ahead for good at 4:32 of the second period on a goal by defenseman Luke Jenkins. A little under two minutes later Army had a chance to add to its lead after Bentley was called for a five-minute major, but the Falcons penalty kill allowed just two shots and no scoring chances to keep the score 2-1.
Bentley had two power play chances in the third period, the first at 7:14 and the second late in third to setup the final 6-on-4, but Gahagen and Army kept the door shut.
Gahagen finished the night with 34 saves, while Argue made 27 stops in his second straight start.
The Falcons drop to 6-8-1 overall and 4-4-1 in Atlantic Hockey, while Army improves to 4-10-2 and 4-8-2. The Falcons are back on the ice Friday when they host Air Force for the start of a weekend series.