WATERTOWN, Mass. – Senior Matt Gingera netted a hat trick as Sacred Heart forced a deciding game three in the Atlantic Hockey first round against Bentley with a 4-2, game two win over the Falcons on Saturday night at Ryan Skating Arena. Game three is Sunday night at 7:05 p.m.
Despite outshooting the Pioneers 33-18, the Falcons will have to come back Sunday night in an all-or-nothing game to determine which team will move on to the quarterfinals.
Gingera scored twice in the first period, after Joe Campanelli (Pierrefonds, Quebec/Westminster Prep) had given Bentley a 1-0 lead just 1:35 in, to make it 2-1 for the Pioneers after the first 20 minutes.
Campanelli tied it at two in the second period with another early goal, this time just 1:20 in, but that was all the Falcons could get past goalie Andrew Bodnarchuk the rest of the night. Bodnarchuk finished with 31 saves and stopped Bentley's final 20 shots of the evening.
Gingera gave Sacred Heart the lead back at 4:22 of the second for the hat trick and the eventual game-winning goal.
The Falcons had some good chances in the third period, especially one from Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) where he split two Sacred Heart defenders only to be denied by Bodnarchuk, who sprawled across the crease to make the save.
Late in the third period with the game still 3-2, freshman Drew George essentially iced it by scoring his first of the series with 3:49 to go.
The last time Bentley played a deciding game three was against Canisius in the quarterfinals of the 2009 playoffs, after winning the first game and losing the second. A Jeff Gumaer hat trick in that game lifted the Falcons to a 4-2 win.