WATERTOWN, Mass. – Sophomore Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) scored with 2:09 left in overtime as Bentley University defeated Canisius College 3-2 Friday night in the opening game of an Atlantic Hockey series at Ryan Arena.
The play started with the puck dumped into Bentley's offensive zone along the right boards. Junior Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) chased the puck down and skated in on net, but dished a cross-ice pass to Switzer on the far post, who knocked it past Canisius goalie Tony Capobianco for the winning goal. The goal was Switzer's fourth of the season and Gensler's 19th assist. Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside Warriors) also had an assist on the goal, his second of the night.
It's Bentley's first overtime win since Feb. 17, 2012 at UConn, with Switzer scoring the winner as well that night and Gensler and Grieve assisting. It's Bentley's first home overtime win in almost eight years, with the last being in 2004 against Holy Cross.
Bentley trailed 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Mitch McCrank. But the Falcons finally broke down the tough Canisius defense in the second period for two goals to lead 2-1 at one point, only for their lead to be cancelled out by a late short-handed goal from Kyle Gibbons.
Defenseman Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers) scored on the power play to tie the score at one at 8:32. That was the first power play goal allowed by Capobianco in more than 600 minutes of action, covering 10-plus games. Freshman Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo Clippers) fed the puck to Weinstein on the point, who then fired on net and beat Capobianco with a shot that went in just under the cross bar.
Junior Jared Rickord (Skokie, Ill./Springfield Jr. Blues) gave Bentley a 2-1 lead just over two minutes later. Grieve took a shot on net from the point that went wide of the net, but bounced off the boards right to Derek Bacon (Calgary, Alberta/Okotoks Oilers) on the goal line. Bacon then fed Rickord a pass on the opposite post, and Rickord buried the puck into the open net.
But Canisius tied the score at two with 3:34 left in the period on Gibbons' short-handed goal. Gibbons made a steal in Bentley's defensive zone and skated in on net untouched for the goal.
Neither team scored in the third period, but Bentley goalie Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon), who earned his eighth win of the season with 28 saves, did his best work of the night in the final period of regulation. He made 10 saves, including five in quick succession at one point with Canisius on the power play.
Bentley improves to 9-10-1 overall and 7-6-1 in Atlantic Hockey with the victory, while the Griffs fall to 8-10-5 and 7-5-2. The second game of the series is Saturday night at 7:05 pm.