Feb. 15, 2013
WATERTOWN, Mass. – Bentley scored at once in each period and held off a furious Army rally for a 5-3 victory, Friday night in a physical Atlantic Hockey Association game at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena.
Army trailed by three goals in the final period and battled within one before an empty-net goal closed the scoring with 13 seconds remaining.
Army, which held a 42-33 advantage in shots on goal, received goals from Thane Heller, Zak Zaremba and Joe Kozlak. Andy Starczewski, Mac Lalor, Jonathan Gehrt, Shane Hearn and Josh Richards were credited with assists.
Bentley built up a three-goal lead and then held on to halt a five-game losing streak and improve to 12-15-1 overall and 10-11-1 in league games.
Army fell to 7-15-4 overall and 7-10-4 in league games after its comeback came up short.
Bentley goalie Branden Komm made 39 saves while Army’s Ryan Leets turned away 28 as the season series between the two teams evened out at 1-1.
Army had a chance right off the opening face-off when Maurice Alvarez got a shot on goal before the Black Knights killed off a Bentley power play early in the session.
Bentley, coming off of a 9-0 loss on Tuesday at Connecticut, took a 1-0 lead when Ben Grieve beat Leets.
The Falcons made it 2-0 six minutes later on a Ben Switzer tally off of a nice pass from Brett Gensler.
Army cut its deficit in half less than a minute later. Gehrt blasted off a low shot from just inside the blue line and Kozlak tipped it in at the 17:22 mark. It was the sixth goal for Kozlak and the sixth assist for Gehrt.
Bentley increased its lead to two a second time midway through the second period when Ben Rickord scored off of a face-off, a shot that Leets didn’t appear to see.
Army held a 16-9 advantage in shots on goal in the second period but trailed 3-1 after two periods.
The Falcons went on top 4-1 early in the final period when Ben Fitzstephens slid one past Leets from in close.
Zaremba helped Army climb back in, lifting a shot just under the crossbar for his seventh goal of the season. Hearn collected his fifth assist of the season and Richards his ninth.
Army closed the gap to a goal midway through the final period. Lalor and Starczewski exchanged crisp passes and then fed Heller in front for his team-leading ninth goal of the season. It was the team-best 14th assist for Starczewski and the 10th for Lalor.
Kozlak hit the post later in the period and Army pulled Leets but Bentley scored into an empty net with 13 seconds remaining to secure the win.
Army will return to Tate Rink and host Bentley, Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Tate Rink. Tickets are available by visiting www.goARMYsports.com or by calling 1-877-TIX-ARMY.
GAME NOTES: Army wore its black sweaters … Army’s starting lineup consisted of Andy Starczewski, Joe Kozlak, Maurice Alvarez, Jonathan Gehrt and Mac Lalor with Ryan Leets in goal … It marked the 50th start of Leets’ career … Army senior forward Andy Starczewski played in his 100th career Atlantic Hockey Association game on Friday … Major Derek Burt served as the Officer Representative … Army’s third-period power play goal was the team’s first since Air Force on Jan. 12 and snapped an 0-24 stretch.
BENTLEY 5, Army 3
BEN – Grieve (Gensler), 10:20
BEN – Switzer (Gensler), 16:58
ARMY – Kozlak (Gehrt), 17:22
BEN – Rickord (Kubiak), 10:24
BEN – Fitzstephens (Bacon, Hartung), 2:21
ARMY – Zaremba (Hearn, Richards), 7:20
ARMY – Heller (Starczewski, Lalor), PP, 10:14
BEN – Gensler (Weinstein), EN, 19:47
Shots: Army 42 (10-16-16); Bentley 33 (14-9-10)
Saves: Army 28 (Leets, 59:27, 12-8-8; empty net, 00:33); Bentley 39 (Komm, 60:00, 9-16-14)
Power Plays: Army, 1-5; Bentley, 0-3
Penalties: Army, 3-6; Bentley, 5-1