WALTHAM, Mass. – In one of the wildest contests in JAR history, AIC outlasted Bentley 8-7 in the Falcons' home-opener in Atlantic Hockey action Friday night. Seven different players scored for Bentley.
The Falcons led 4-1 after nearly 17 minutes of the first period, after sophomore Michael Reardon (Norwood, Mass./South Shore Kings) scored at 16:27. But AIC's Jake Williams scored a momentum changing goal just 27 seconds later to get the Yellow Jackets to within 4-2, which was the score at the first intermission.
AIC's Blake Peake then scored just 36 seconds into the second period, the first of four goals they would score in the period. However the score stayed 4-3 for almost 15 more minutes, until AIC's Chris Porter scored at 15:20 to tie the game at four.
That was the first of four goals scored over the final 4:40 of the second period. Jon Puskar found the back of the net just 23 seconds later to give the visitors a 5-4 lead. Defenseman Matt Blomquist (Blaine, Minn./Coulee Region Chill) then leveled the score at five for Bentley, scoring with just 13 seconds left in the period. But amazingly AIC responded again, as Puskar scored his second in a row with just five seconds left to give them a 6-5 lead heading into the third period.
In the third period the teams traded goals in the early going, giving AIC a 7-6 advantage with almost six minutes gone, with Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) scoring for the Falcons.
After AIC went ahead 8-6 on a goal by Alexander MacMillian at 13:54, junior Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside Warriors) scored an extra-attacker goal at 18:49, setting up a frantic finish.
Goaltender Gabe Antoni (Lansdale, Pa./Springfield Jr. Blues) was pulled again and Bentley was able to control the puck in its zone for the most part, but AIC came up with an important clear and was able to drain the final seconds from the clock to hold on for the victory.
Puskar led the way in points with five on two goals and three assists, while Switzer, Grieve, Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna Warriors) and defenseman Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers) each had two points for Bentley.
The Falcons are now off Saturday, but return to the ice next Friday night when they visit UConn.