USAFA, Colo. – Freshman defenseman Tanner Jago (Brandon, Manitoba/Portage) blasted in a slap shot with 1:06 left in the 3rd period for the game-winning goal, as Bentley defeated Air Force 5-3 Sunday night to gain a series split.
In a back and forth game that saw neither team lead by more than one goal, Jago ripped a slap shot from the blueline that got through traffic and under the cross bar to give Bentley a 4-3 lead and snap the tie. The goal was upheld after a review and was Jago's first of his career.
An empty-net goal by Kyle Schmidt (Menomonee Falls, Wisc./Sioux City) with 30 seconds left sealed the win.
The victory improves Bentley's Atlantic Hockey record to 6-5-2 and gives them a split of its weekend series with Air Force.
Air Force took a 1-0 lead into the 2nd period, but Bentley quickly erased it on Max French's (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) team leading 11th goal of the season at 3:54 of the period. A little under three minutes later, the Falcons struck for a shorthanded goal as freshman Jake Ahlgren (Fergus Falls, Minn./Wenatchee) finished off a break down the ice after taking a feed from Andrew McDonald (New Brighton, Minn./Fargo) to give the team a 2-1 lead.
Early in the 3rd period with the teams skating 4-on-4, a sequence of two goals in 11 seconds resulted in Bentley holding a 3-2 lead. Air Force's Tyler Ledford briefly tied it for the home team at 2:35, only for Bentley to score off the ensuing face-off. Defenseman Chris Buchanan (San Jose, Calif./Fargo) blasted a slap shot from the blueline to restore Bentley's lead at 3-2.
Bentley's lead lasted about six minutes until Air Force's Kyle Haak provided the game's third tie of the night, only for Jago to win it late for the Falcons.
Senior goalie Gabe Antoni (Lansdale, Pa./Springfield) earned the win for Bentley with 30 saves, with 16 coming in the 3rd period alone.