WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley had the second ranked team in Division II Merrimack on the ropes through three quarters, but the Warriors pulled away over the final quarter to deny Bentley's upset bid, 11-7 on Wednesday night.
Bentley led 5-4 at halftime and had the game tied 7-7 after midfielder Alex Astarita (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Guertin) scored 45 seconds into the fourth quarter. However, Merrimack scored the game's final four goals, two from Dom Thomas and two from Charlie Bertrand, who had seven of Merrimack's 11 goals on the night, to secure the win.
Bentley's sophomore goalie Michael Haggan (Braintree, Mass./BC High) played an outstanding game with 16 saves against 27 shots faced.
The Falcons closed the second quarter strong to take a 5-4 lead into the locker rooms as they scored three of the half's final four goals. Sophomore Matt Brooks (Brunswick, Maine/Philips Exeter) scored unassisted goal at 9:15 to tie the score 3-3. Bertrand netted what was his third goal of the quarter a little over a minute later to put the Warriors back in front 4-3. After about four minutes of scoreless play, Brooks scored again with Mark Galione (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield) on the assist to tie the game up again. Astarita's goal at the 1:20 mark sent Bentley into halftime ahead 5-4.
Junior Sam Hurley (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) netted the opening goal of the second half to put the Falcons up 6-4 at the 13:42. But Bertrand scored two straight, both man-up at 10:25 and 6:36, to put tie the game back up 6-6.
Merrimack would then score with just three seconds left in the quarter off the stick of Sean Black to take a 7-6 lead into the final quarter.
Astarita's goal at 14:15 of the fourth tied the game 7-7, but that was the final time Bentley was able to score.