BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Bentley hockey team battled back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 tie with Canisius Sunday afternoon to pick up another three points from its Atlantic Hockey series with the Golden Griffins. Senior Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) had the tying goal in the third period.
After Saturday's 4-1 win in the series opener, Bentley fell behind 2-0 on goals by Canisius' Patrick Sullivan in the first period and a shorthanded goal by Tyler Wiseman in the second. But goals by captain Jared Rickord (Skokie, Ill./Springfield Jr. Blues) in the second frame and Gensler in the third helped Bentley rally.
Both teams created good scoring chances in search of the winning goal, but solid goaltending by both Bentley's Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) and Canisius' Tony Capobianco kept the score tied. Komm ended the afternoon with 32 saves while his counterpart made 34 stops.
The Falcons, who are now 1-0-3 in overtime games this season, go to 10-3-3 in Atlantic Hockey play. Canisius goes to 7-6-2 in conference games.
Canisius scored first for the second straight game and took a 1-0 lead with 5:33 remaining in the opening period on the goal by Sullivan, whose wrist shot from the left wing found its way under Komm's glove.
A shorthanded goal then gave the hosts a 2-0 lead 5:01 into the second period. Bentley's Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside Warriors) took a shot on the blue line which was blocked by defenseman Geoff Fortman. The puck came to Wiseman in the neutral zone for a breakaway, which he finished off to double Canisius' lead.
But the Falcons began their comeback with Rickord's second goal of the series with 8:16 left in the second. A blocked shot by Bentley created a 2-on-1 down the other end of the ice with Gensler skating down the left wing and Rickord in the middle. Gensler then feathered a pass to Rickord, who made a move around Capobianco and backhanded his shot in for the goal.
The score remained 2-1 until Bentley's power play, which has been so effective all season, struck again with Gensler getting the goal 5:48 into the third period. Grieve and defenseman Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers) had the assists as Gensler cleaned up a loose puck in front of the net for the goal.
Bentley might have had the best chance in overtime as a slap shot from Weinstein and a save by Capobianco created a big rebound for Gensler and a good look on net, but Capobianco was able to make the save.
With two more points on the afternoon, Gensler extended his scoring streak to 12 games, while another assist for Weinstein gives him 28 on the year.
The Falcons return east for their next game, which is a Frozen Fenway rematch against Holy Cross next Saturday night at the Hart Center in Worcester. Face off is set for 7:05 pm.