WATERTOWN, Mass. – In an expected hard-fought battle between two rivals, Bentley and Holy Cross played to a 1-1 draw Friday night at the JAR in the Atlantic Hockey series opener between the two teams.
Defenseman Chris Buchanan's (San Jose, Calif./Fargo) first goal of the season came at a big time, 5:02 into the 3rd period to tie the score after Holy Cross seized the lead early in the 2nd period.
After Buchanan's goal both teams had to kill off a power play the rest of the way. The Falcons went on the PK with just 2:36 left in regulation, but were able to shut down the Holy Cross man-advantage to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Bentley was forced to go on the penalty kill with 3:39 remaining, but the Holy Cross power play lasted just 42 seconds after they were called for a penalty themselves and most of the remaining time was spent 4-on-4.
After Bentley's penalty expired they went on a short power play and kept the puck in the offensive zone. They nearly won it in the game's dying seconds when defenseman Matt Blomquist (Blaine, Minn./Coulee Region) found Kyle Schmidt (Menomonee Falls, Wisc./Sioux City) on the far post, but the puck just skipped over his stick.
After a scoreless first period, the Crusaders went up 1-0 at 6:23 of the 2nd period as sophomore Scott Pooley fired in a shot near post from a tough angle.
Holy Cross held onto that lead into the 3rd period until Buchanan finished off a rush down the ice, beating Holy Cross goalie Paul Berrafato to the near side. The assists came from Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo) and Billy Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass./Chicago).
Both goalies came up with several big saves on the night. Bentley's Gabe Antoni (Lansdale, Pa./Springfield) finished with 29 and Berrafato with 33.
The tie is just the 2nd of the season for Bentley, and it moves its record to 7-7-2 overall and 5-3-2 in Atlantic Hockey games. The Crusaders go to 9-6-1 and 8-3-1.
The teams will finish off their season series tomorrow night at the JAR, with game time set for 7:05.