(Watertown, MA) – In an emotional and physical Game One of the Opening Round of the Atlantic Hockey Playoffs, the Bentley Falcons held on for a 5-3 win over the Sacred Heart Men's Hockey team in front of raucous crowd at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena in Watertown, MA Friday night.
Chad Filteau (Regina, SK) gave SHU the game's first lead, converting a two-on-one give-and-go with Matt Gingera (Winnipeg, MB) for his sixth goal of the season. However, after Drew George (Regina, SK) took a ten-minute misconduct for shooting the puck well after the whistle, Bentley seized that momentum with a goal seconds later by Alex Grieve, off a brilliant no-look pass from Brett Switzer to the tie the game at . A few minutes later, off an offensive zone faceoff, Justin Breton gave Bentley a 2-1 lead with a great individual effort from behind the net to poke in a loose puck lying in the crease.
Bentley extended their lead to 3-1 on Brett Gensler's first of two 1:41 into the second period, with Steve Weinstein picking up the assist. The Pioneers responded with another two-on-one goal between Filteau and Gingera, with Filteau's backhand goal mouth pass going off the skate of a defenseman and Gingera picking up the assist. Grieve put the Falcons back up by two at 14:23, stuffing a pass out of the corner by Gensler inside the near post to give Bentley a 4-2 lead after two.
Then came a rough third period, with 53 minutes of penalties combined. After two all-out scrums in front of both nets within a minute of each other, one of which resulted in a five-minute major and game-misconduct for Bentley's Jamie Nudy, Torin Snydeman (Groton, MA) scored his first of the season after a Falcon turnover to bring Sacred Heart within one at 11:40. SHU would get no further, as Gensler iced the victory with an empty net goal from Trent Bonnet and Switzer with 1:04 left in the game.
Andrew Bodnarchuk (Saskatoon, SK) made 37 saves in net for SHU. The Pioneers face Bentley in Game Two of the Opening Round Saturday night at 7:00 pm, and must win in hopes of extending its season to a decisive game three on Sunday night.