DURHAM, N.H. – Bentley sophomore center Luke Santerno (Smithers, B.C.) scored a 3rd period goal, but the Falcons' comeback against UNH fell just short as the Wildcats held on for a 4-3 win on Sunday night at the Whittemore Center in a non-conference game.
Santerno's goal 5:56 into the 3rd period cut UNH's two goal lead to 4-3, but the Falcons were unable to find the tying goal the rest of the way. Junior goalie Aidan Pelino (Oakville, Ontario) made 39 saves, and senior defenseman Tanner Jago (Brandon, Manitoba) had two assists.
Both teams were back on the ice for the first time in over three weeks, and the first 10 minutes of the opening period was even as of both teams scored. The Wildcats though scored twice in the final six minutes of the period to lead 3-1 after the first frame.
In the early going, a shot from Jago in the slot produced a quick save out of UNH goalie Mike Robinson for the first good chance of the night. It was UNH though that scored first, with a shot from center Liam Blackburn that took a deflection in the slot and went in under Pelino's stick after taking a funny bounce.
Bentley though was quick to respond, as senior Alexey Solovyev (Moscow, Russia) scored at the 8:41 mark to tie the game 1-1. Solovyev skated into the left face-off circle and pulled a slight hesitation move to create space, after which he unleashed a low wrist shot that beat Robinson low and to the near post for his 5th goal of the season.
Later in the period though, UNH went back in front on a goal by left wing Angus Crookshank, on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle that went low and through traffic in front of the net, and a screened Pelino never got eyes on it. That gave the hosts a 2-1 lead with 5:59 left in the period.
They went up 3-1 with 1:31 left in the period on a power play goal by center Jackson Pierson with a shot from the near post.
The Falcons got back to within one goal in the 2nd period, when junior forward Ryner Gorowsky (Lino Lakes, Minn.) netted his 2nd goal of the year at the 4:24 mark. Jago took a shot from just inside the blue line, and Gorowsky got his stick on the puck in front and deflected it past the glove of Robinson for the goal, to make it a 3-2 game.
UNH though scored its 3rd power play goal of the game with 10:57 remaining in the 2nd frame from right wing Patrick Grasso to take a 4-2 lead. Pelino first made a save on Marcus Vela in the slot and the puck was cleared from the net, but not over the blue line. Grasso brought it back in and took a shot from the near post that Pelino at first appeared to save, but the puck squeaked in and the goal was upheld after a review.
Bentley limited further damage when they killed off the entirety of a five minute major, including a highlight reel glove save by Pelino to rob Pierson from close range.
In the 3rd period, Bentley converted on a power play chance to cut the deficit to 4-3 with 14:04 remaining in the game. Jago took a slap shot from the point, and Santerno tipped the puck to redirect it under Robinson's pads for the goal.
Bentley had some good scoring chances in search of the tying goal the rest of the period, but an Untimely penalty with 2:17 remaining put them down a man. UNH was able to keep the puck in the zone during most of the power play. After a clear, Pelino was able to head to the bench with 30 seconds left for the extra attacker, but Bentley did not have enough time to put together a chance on goal, and UNH hung on to win it 4-3.
The Falcons will be back in action next Saturday, Jan. 5 when they host Dartmouth at Bentley Arena.