WEST POINT, N.Y. – Bentley's sophomore goalie Aidan Pelino (Oakville, Ontario) made 39 saves, and three different players scored, as the Falcons skated to a 3-3 tie with Army West Point at Tate Rink on Friday night in the opening game of an Atlantic Hockey series.
Pelino made 17 saves in the first period until the Bentley offense got going with two goals in the second period. But each time Bentley scored, Army found the tying goal on three different occasions. Defenseman Tanner Jago (Brandon, Manitoba), and forwards Matt Sieckhaus (St. Louis, Mo.) and Andrew McDonald (New Brighton, Minn.) had the Falcon goals.
The first period ended scoreless thanks in large parts to the efforts of Pelino, as the sophomore netminder stopped all 17 of Army's shots.
The second period is when the game opened up with each team scoring twice. Jago opened the scoring 5:04 into the period with his fifth goal of the season. The puck was deflected back to him on the left side of the point, and Jago unleashed a low wrist shot that got through traffic and into the back of the net to give Bentley a 1-0 lead.
Bentley went on the power play just 16 seconds after the goal after Army was whistled for a cross checking penalty, but it was the Black Knights that scored short-handed to even the score. Sophomore Brendan Soucie collected loose puck in Bentley's offensive zone and took the puck all the way down the other end of the ice for the goal at 6:16.
Bentley wasn't deterred though, and fought back to take the lead again at 8:47 off the stick of Sieckhaus After a shot by defenseman Brett Orr (Elkhorn, Manitoba) was blocked, Sieckhaus fought to clean up the rebound to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead.
Army though tied the game again, this time from defenseman Blake Box at the 13:49 mark, after he took a pass on the far post from Zach Evancho. Pelino then made sure the score stayed 2-2 at intermission, after he denied a breakaway from Ian Mansfield just as the period was about to end.
The Falcons took their third lead of the game at 4:54 of the third period as McDonald lit the lamp. Junior defenseman Alexey Solovyev (Moscow, Russia) unleashed a shot from just inside the blue line that McDonald got his stick on and tipped past Army goalie Cole Bruns for the goal.
The Black Knights though would find the tying goal from senior Conor Andrle on the power play at the 8:26 mark.
Bentley's best chance to score during the rest of regulation came with about six minutes remaining when Matt Riggleman (Milford, Mich.) drove in on net and had shot by Bruns saved. A rebound chance was there for McDonald, but he was hauled down and drew a hooking penalty before he could get a shot off.
Bentley outshot Army 2-1 in the overtime period, but neither team could break the deadlock.
The Falcons' Atlantic Hockey record goes to 4-7-4 with the tie, while Army's goes to 6-7-4. These same two teams will be back at it tomorrow night at Tate Rink in the series finale.