SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Defenseman Tanner Jago (Brandon, Manitoba/Portage) scored the tying goal with 3:09 left in the 3rd period as Bentley and AIC fought to a 2-2 tie on Tuesday night at the Mass Mutual Center in an Atlantic Hockey game.
Jago's goal, a slap shot from inside the left face-off circle, knotted the game at 2-2 after AIC took the lead 4:07 into the 3rd period. Neither team could break the deadlock in overtime.
Bentley jumped out to the early lead on Kyle Schmidt's (Menomonee Falls, Wisc./Sioux City) goal just 3:45 into the contest. Center Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) chased down the puck behind the net, and fed a short pass to Andrew McDonald, who was behind the net as well. McDonald spotted Schmidt in front of the net and hit him with a quick pass, which Schmidt one-timed past AIC goalie Zacharias Skog to light the lamp.
AIC though knotted it up 1-1 with a power play goal from freshman winger Dominik Florian at the 14:45 mark. Center Shawn McBride set the goal up with a slap shot from the left wing that Florian got his stick on and deflected in in front of the net.
Both teams had some good scoring chances in the 2nd period. Bentley's best chance came from freshman Jonathan Desbiens (Montreal, Quebec/West Kelowna). Freshman defenseman Tanner Salsberry (Cypress, Texas/Jersey Hitmen) hit him with an outlet pass from the neutral zone that sprung Desbiens for a breakaway. However, Skog denied his backhander with a pad save to keep the game tied.
Early in the 3rd period AIC grabbed a 2-1 lead on a goal by left wing Blake Christensen. Center Bryant Christian won a battle for the puck in the corner and fed a centering pass to an open Christensen in the slot. Christensen hesitated to create an opening, and fired from close range to give the Yellow Jackets the lead at the 4:07 mark.
Bentley went on the power play for the first time at 8:27 for a tripping call on AIC, but the extra man opportunity lasted just 1:16 after the Falcons were whistled for slashing in the offensive zone.
AIC went on the power play with just over 7:00 minutes remaining, but Bentley had two excellent shorthanded shots on goal denied by Skog. First freshman Jake Kauppila (Gurnee, Ill./Trail) had a shot blocked by Skog, then defenseman Mike Berry (Edmonton, Alberta/Sherwood) had his rebound attempt saved.
The tying goal though came just minutes later. French operated at the point and fed Jago inside the left face-off circle. Jago blasted a slap shot to the near post that beat Skog to tie the game 2-2 with 3:09 remaining.
In overtime, shots on goal were 2-1 for Bentley. Falcons goalie Jayson Argue (Swan River, Manitoba/Nanaimo) ended the night with 29 saves.
These two teams will be back at it on Thursday night at the Mass Mutual Center in the series finale.