WATERTOWN, Mass. – Despite taking the lead on three different occasions, the Bentley University hockey team suffered a 5-3 loss to Niagara Saturday night in Atlantic Hockey play, which ended the Falcons' nine-game unbeaten streak.
The Falcons received goals from seniors Jared Rickord (Skokie, Ill./Springfield Jr. Blues) and Andrew Fitzstephens (Schoolcraft, Mich./Bay State Breakers) and sophomore Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo Clippers), but the Purple Eagles scored the game's final three goals to secure the victory.
The loss is Bentley's first since Nov. 8 and ends a nine-game run where they went 7-0-2.
Gladiuk scored a power play goal at 13:22 of the second period, his 11th of the season, to give Bentley a 3-2 lead, but it was all Niagara from that point on.
The Purple Eagles scored twice in a 27 second span to close out the second period in what proved to be the game's decisive sequence. Sophomore Matt Dineen tied the game 3-3 at the 18:48 mark of the second during a delayed penalty, giving them an extra skater on the ice when the goal was scored.
Niagara still had a power play opportunity following Dineen's goal, and they took advantage as sophomore Mike Conderman scored his second of the game at 19:15 to give Niagara its first lead of the night at 4-3.
Following a Niagara penalty to Patrick Divjak for tripping at 6:56 of the third period, Bentley had its best chance of the period to score the tying goal on the ensuing power play. Gladiuk had a look on the far post with Niagara goalie Jackson Teichroeb out of position, but Teichroeb was somehow able to slide across the crease in time to make the save.
Rickord gave Bentley a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 4:54 of the first period, putting home a rebound from a shot from Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) that Teichroeb had saved.
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead into the second period until Niagara's Chris Lochner made it 1-1 at 3:21 with an unassisted goal. But Fitzstephens put Bentley back ahead 2-1 at 9:57, finishing off a pass from freshman Tyler Deresky (Flemington, N.J./Amarillo Bulls).
The loss drops Bentley's record to 9-8-2 overall and 7-3-2 in Atlantic Hockey, while the Purple Eagles improve to 4-11-3 and 4-4-3. Bentley is back in action on Friday when they host RIT to open a two-game series.