NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Bentley scored a goal early in each period, and Kyle Schmidt (Menomonee Falls, Wisc/Sioux City) had two goals in the 3rd period, as the Falcons won at Niagara 6-3 on Friday night at Dwyer Arena to open a weekend Atlantic Hockey series.
Ryan McMurphy (Broken Arrow, Okla./Tri-City) scored 2:31 into in the 1st period, Connor Brassard (Fitchburg, Mass./Jersey Hitmen) 1:19 into the 2nd and Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) 33 seconds into the 3rd, on the power play, as Bentley scored an early goal in each period. Schmidt would add two goals later in the 3rd, his 9th and 10th goals of the season, to help them pull away.
Niagara actually led 1-0 after just 28 seconds of the 1st period on a goal by Nic Carrier, but just over two minutes later, McMurphy's first tally of the season, assisted by defenseman Brett Orr (Elkhorn, Manitboa/Portage) leveled the score.
That was the only time Bentley trailed on the evening as they tacked on the goals and built its lead, and netminder Jayson Argue (Swan River, Manitoba/Nanaimo) slammed the door on the Purple Eagles into the 3rd period.
With Bentley leading 2-1 after the 2nd period, French's power play goal off a backhanded shot in the slot just 33 seconds into the final period, gave them a two-goal cushion. Niagara though got back in it with a power play goal by Carrier at the 5:50 mark to cut the lead to 3-2.
Schmidt's first goal of the night, a quick wrist shot after a break down the right wing, restored Bentley's two goal lead. That led to a flurry where the team's traded goals just 13 seconds apart. Defenseman Kevin Patterson scored for Niagara at 14:55, but quickly after Matt Riggleman (Milford, Mich./Sioux Falls) scored for Bentley on a rebound from its own shot. After that spurt of three goals in 1:20, Bentley led 5-3.
Schmidt added an empty-net goal 1:31 remaining as the Falcons finished off the 6-3 victory.
The Falcons improved to 5-6-4 in Atlantic Hockey games with the win. They'll go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with a 3:05 start.