SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Three different players scored and junior goalie Kyle Rank (Islip, N.Y./Markham Waxers) made 37 saves as Bentley University won at AIC 3-2 Friday night in Atlantic Hockey action. Senior Dustin Cloutier (Berkley, Mich./Mahoning Valley Phantoms) had two assists.
AIC's Michael Penny scored the first goal of the game at 2:54 of the opening period. Penny took a wrist shot from the left face-off circle that beat Rank, who was screened by a teammate, up top.
Bentley, however, answered back at 16:22 on defenseman Ryan Kayfes' (Maple Grove, Minn./Fairbanks Ice Dogs) third goal of the year. Kayfes had been in the penalty box, but when the two minutes expired, raced out of the box and got behind the AIC defense. Cloutier fed Kayfes a pass from the neutral zone for a breakaway, and he beat AIC goalie Ryan Kerpan to the glove side to knot the score at one.
The Falcons seized the lead in the second period on goals by Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) and Jamie Nudy (West Chester, Pa./Choate Rosemary Hall). Prior to that, AIC took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Steve Mele at 5:22.
Gensler though scored on the power play at 10:28 to tie the game. A shot and a save by Kerpan created a loose puck in the crease, and a scrum in front of the net ensued for it. Gensler was the one who came away with it and buried a shot top-shelf for his 10th goal of the campaign.
Nudy's goal at 17:58 put the Falcons in front 3-2. Dan Koudys (Grimsby, Ontario/Burlington Cougars) took a shot in the slot that Kerpan saved, but Nudy was in the right spot to collect the rebound and flip the puck in with a backhander past an out of position Kerpan.
AIC had a golden opportunity to tie late in the third period, a two-man advantage for 1:47 with 3:40 remaining in the game. The penalty kill and Rank answered the call however, and the Falcons killed off the penalties unscathed.
Kerpan was pulled with 1:05 left for an extra-attacker, but the Falcons again kept the puck out of the net and held on for the victory.
These two teams are back at it Saturday night for the second game of the series in Watertown.
At Springfield, Mass.
Bentley (9-14-5, 8-10-4 AHA) 1 2 0 -- 3
AIC (6-18-1, 6-15-1 AHA) 1 1 0 -- 2
1st Period: A, Michael Penny (Adam Pleskach, Jeff Ceccacci) 2:54; B, Ryan Kayfes (Dustin Cloutier) 16:22
3rd Period: No Scoring
Shots: A, 39; B, 28
Saves: A, Ryan Kerpan 25; B, Kyle Rank 37
Penalties: A, 1-2; B, 5-10
Power Plays: A, 0-4; B, 1-1