Erie, Pa. – Mercyhurst hung on to a one goal lead throughout the third period to take the second game of a weekend Atlantic Hockey series over Bentley 2-1 Saturday night.
Both goaltenders, Bentley's Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) and Mercyhurst's Max Strang again played great games, but two second period power play goals by the Lakers was the difference. Komm made 33 saves and Strang had 32.
After neither team scored in Friday's game, Bentley finally scored the first goal of the series just 4:17 into the first period. Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) won control of the puck along the boards and fed a pass to Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) in the slot. Gensler then dropped a backhand pass to Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers) on the left wing, who took a few strides and beat Strang with a wrist shot to his glove side.
Komm picked up where he left off from Friday and made 10 saves in the first period, but Mercyhurst's Matthew Zay missed an open net and two other shots hit the post.
Coming out of the first intermission trailing 1-0, it didn't take long for Mercyhurst to tie the game up. On a power play that carried over from the first period, freshman Chris Bodo scored just 23 seconds in, his fourth goal of the year.
Just past the midway point of the period, freshman Daniel Bahntge scored on the power play at 10:56 with it about to expire to give Mercyhurst the lead. That was the last goal of the game.
Bentley had a good scoring chance toward the end of the period on a breakaway by Justin Breton (Fitchburg, Mass./Boston Jr. Bruins) after defenseman Micah Williams (Valrico, Fla./Lawrence Academy) knocked the puck out of Bentley's zone to Breton in the neutral zone to create the break, but Mercyhurst got back in time to prevent a shot.
Mercyhurst hung onto its lead throughout the third period, but Bentley made it interesting in the final minute with Komm pulled. A high stick in Mercyhurst's end led to a face-off in Bentley's offensive zone. The Falcons won the face-off and put a lot of pressure on Strang, but the goaltender kept the puck out to give the Lakers the win.
Bentley drops to 4-2-1 in Atlantic Hockey and 4-7-2 overall with the loss, while Mercyhurst improves to 5-1-1 in the league and 6-5-1 overall.