WATERTOWN, Mass. – Bentley University cut a 3-0 deficit to 3-2 in the third period, but couldn't find the tying goal as Air Force hung on for a New Year's Eve victory to complete the series sweep in Atlantic Hockey action at Ryan Skating Arena.
The first career goal by Bentley freshman Justin Breton (Fitchburg, Mass./Boston Jr. Bruins) at 6:42 of the third made it a 3-2 game.
Just over a minute later, Air Force's Mike Walsh was given a game misconduct and a five-minute major for hitting from behind. At the 10:31 mark Brad Sellers was called for charging, giving Bentley a two-man advantage for nearly two minutes.
Bentley got off three shots on net during the advantage, but all of them were saved by goalie Jason Torf. Junior Aaron Stonacek's (Basehor, Kan./Fairbanks Ice Dogs) shot that hit the inside of the post was Bentley's best chance to score.
Goalie Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Herron) was pulled with 1:15 left in the game, but Bentley did not create any serious scoring chances as Air Force hung on for the win.
Air Force took a 3-0 lead in this game thanks to its special teams. Sophomore Kyle DeLaurell scored the game's first goal on the power play at 17:31 of the first, and freshmen defenseman Adam McKenzie made it 2-0 at 14:28 of the second with a short-handed goal.
Just 2:28 after McKenzie's goal, senior Derrick Burnett was credited with a power play goal after he put the puck on net and it deflected in off a Bentley player.
Junior Ryan Kayfes (Maple Grove, Minn./Fairbanks Ice Dogs) got Bentley to within 3-1 with his second tally of the season with 1:35 remaining in the period.
Komm, starting just his second game of the season and first since Oct. 16, made 31 saves. Torf made 39 saves for Air Force to earn his fifth win of the season.
Bentley is now off until Jan. 11, when they face AIC in Springfield.
At Watertown, Mass.
Air Force (8-7-2, 6-3-2 AHA) 1 2 0 -- 3
Bentley (5-10-2, 4-7-1 AHA) 0 1 1 -- 2
1st Period: AF, PP Kyle DeLaurell (Jacques Lamoureux, Derrick Burnett) 17:31
3rd Period: B, Justin Breton (Hartung, Fitzstephens) 6:42
Shots: B, 41; AF, 34
Saves: B, Branden Komm 31; AF, 39
Penalties: B, 6-12; AF, 7-25
Power Plays: B, 0-6; AF, 2-6