WATERTOWN, Mass.- The Bentley University hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to nine games Friday night with a 2-2 draw against the visiting Niagara Purple Eagles in Atlantic Hockey play at Ryan Arena.
The Falcons, now 7-0-2 in their last nine, received goals from senior Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) and junior Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside Warriors), while senior goalie Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) made 34 saves.
Niagara jumped out to a 1-0 lead 9:16 into the first period on a goal by senior Ryan Rashid. Rashid blocked a shot in Bentley's offensive zone and corralled the puck to create a breakaway for himself. He then skated in on Komm and beat the goaltender with a backhander to give the Purple Eagles the lead.
Niagara held that for the rest of the opening period and for more than 16 minutes into the second period before Gensler tied the game at one with his 62nd career goal, tying the program's Division I record for career goals.
The goal came as Grieve chased down a loose puck headed toward Niagara goalie Adrian Ignagni. Grieve won the race and hit Gensler, who was on his right with a pass, and Gensler fired it past Ignagni top-shelf to knot the game at 1-1 with 3:43 left in the second period.
The Falcons then went ahead 2-1 just 3:16 into the third period on Grieve's 13th tally of the season. Grieve tipped in a shot from defenseman Matt Blomquist (Blaine, Minn./Coulee Region Chill), and Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers) had the secondary assist, extending his scoring streak to 11 games.
Niagara though wouldn't go away and found the tying goal off the stick of freshman Brock Edwards with 11:38 left in the third period.
Neither team would score over the remainder of regulation, sending Bentley to its third overtime of the season. The Falcons opened OT with a flourish of shots on Ignagni but could not put one past him, and they had arguably the best chance of overtime when Grieve found Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) on the far post for an open shot, only the pass was just beyond the reach of Switzer's stick.
The tie moves Bentley's record to 9-7-2 on the season and 7-2-2 in Atlantic Hockey play, while the Purple Eagles go to 3-11-3 overall and 3-4-3 in Atlantic Hockey. Game two of this series is Saturday night at 7:05 pm.