BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Kyle Schmidt (Menomonee Falls, Wisc./Sioux City) scored two goals, and freshman goalie Aidan Pelino (Oakville, Ontario/Chilliwack) made 37 saves to lead the Bentley hockey team past Sacred Heart 3-2 on Friday night at Webster Bank Arena.
The victory improved Bentley's Atlantic Hockey record to 6-7-4 on the season, and is the team's 3rd win in the last five games.
Pelino, who earned his 1st career win with a strong effort between the pipes, stopped 35 straight shots throughout the game after allowing an early goal in the first period.
Bentley's Ryner Gorowsky (Lino Lakes, Minn./Fairbanks) had the first good scoring chance of the game less than a minute in with SHU goalie Brett Magnus on his back, but Gorowsky's shot from the near post was denied.
That allowed Sacred Heart to take a 1-0 lead at the 2:02 mark. Pelino stopped an initial shot on goal from Connor Doherty, but right wing Zach De Concilys was there on the doorstep to jam it into the net to give the Pioneers the early lead.
Bentley trailed for just over three minutes though, as Schmidt got them level at the 5:24 mark. Sophomore Jake Ahlgren (Fergus Falls, Minn./Wenatchee) set the goal up with a shot from the right wing, and Schmidt strode in on net to tip it past Magnus for the goal.
Past the midway point of the 2nd period, the Falcons went down a man as Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) was given two minutes for interference, but that didn't deter them as junior Andrew McDonald (New Brighton, Minn./Fargo) scored shorthanded for a 2-1 lead at 11:52. A pass in the defensive zone from defenseman Alexey Solovyev (Moscow, Russia/Lone Star) sprung McDonald loose for a clean break down the right wing, and he took advantage with a wrist shot that beat Magnus for his 3rd goal of the season.
Late in the period, with the Falcons on the penalty kill, Pelino made a nice reaction save to deny Justin Danforth with his pads after the puck took a deflection. That ensured Bentley went into the 2nd intermission with its 2-1 lead intact.
Bentley saw a partial power play at the start of the 3rd period go by the boards, but they converted their next chance at 7:18 to take a 3-1 lead, as Schmidt scored his 2nd goal of the night. Drew Callin (Middleton, Wisc./Janesville) kept the puck in after a SHU clearance attempt, and fed a backhand pass to Schmidt on the doorstep. His first shot was denied by Magnus, but Schmidt fired again and across the goal crease past Magnus for his 12th goal of the season.
SHU tallied a late, extra-attacker goal from left wing Stephen Hladin with 12.4 seconds left to cut the lead to 3-2, but Bentley kept the puck away after the ensuing face-off to secure the win.
Bentley will go for the series sweep tomorrow night back at the JAR.