SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – AIC's Austin Orszulak scored a late extra attacker goal with 24 seconds left in regulation to help the Yellow Jackets force a 4-4 tie with Bentley Saturday night in the Atlantic Hockey series opener between the two teams.
The Falcons led 4-3 for almost all of the third period after scoring three times in the second frame, and appeared headed to their third straight victory. But Orszulak's late tally with AIC's net open and an extra attacker on the ice foiled Bentley and forced OT.
Neither team found the winning goal in the extra five minutes, and Bentley settled for a tie in its fourth overtime game of the season. Its Atlantic Hockey record goes to 6-4-2 on the season, while the Yellow Jackets' record goes to 2-5-4. AIC held a 6-1 advantage in shots in overtime, but freshman goalie Jayson Argue (Swan River, Manitoba/Nanaimo) stopped them all.
Bentley got off to a good start as defenseman Billy Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass./Chicago Steel) netted his first goal as a Falcon just 59 seconds into the first period. But AIC canceled that goal out with a strike from freshman Jackson Dudley at the 10:20 mark.
The second period was a wild affair with five goals scored, three by Bentley. AIC scored two of the first three goals to take a 3-2 lead, with goals by Orszulak and senior Matt Cassidy coming in between a goal by Bentley freshman Andrew McDonald (New Brighton, Minn./Fargo Force), his second of the season.
But the Falcons got the next two goals. Senior Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove) tied the game at three with his fifth goal of the season at the 7:14 mark. Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) then scored for the second time in as many games to give the Falcons a 4-3 lead at 14:39. Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo) had an assist on both goals.
French's goal was the last by either team until Orszulak's second of night sent the game to overtime.
These same two teams will conclude their series tomorrow afternoon for a 2:05 matinee.