WATERTOWN, Mass.- Senior Grant Blakey scored 2:33 into overtime as Mercyhurst came away with a 4-3 victory over the Bentley University hockey team Friday night in a back-and-forth encounter at Ryan Arena.
Bentley had tied the score at three with just 29 seconds left in regulation on a goal by defenseman Steve Weinstein (Los Angeles, Calif./Vernon Vipers), but Blakey netted the winner in the extra session to give the Lakers the two points.
Mercyhurst went up 3-2 on a power play goal from junior defenseman Nick Jones at the 16:00 mark of the third, but the Falcons responded in dramatic fashion just minutes later.
Already on the power play and in search of the tying goal, Bentley pulled goalie Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) with 1:25 remaining for a 6-on-4 advantage. Bentley peppered Lakers goalie Max Strang with shots leading up to the goal before finally putting one in the back of the net
Freshman Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, British Columbia/Nanaimo Clippers) fed Weinstein a pass on the blue line, and the sophomore beat Strang with a slap shot from just inside the line to send the game into OT.
Blakey's winning goal came as the Falcons tried to clear the puck from their defensive zone, only for Mercyhurst to intercept it, and the puck was fed to sophomore Matthew Zay on the right wing with open space as the Falcons were caught out of position. Zay then zipped a pass to a wide open Blakey on the far post and there was nothing Komm could do to stop his shot.
The Lakers improve to 4-4-1 overall and 4-1 in Atlantic Hockey with the win, while the Falcons' record drops to 5-5-0 and 4-3-0.
Bentley opened the scoring at 10:02 of the first period on sophomore Brett Switzer's (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) first goal of the year. Mercyhurst attempted to clear the puck from the defensive zone, only for defenseman Matt Maher (Avon, Conn./Westside Warriors) to get his stick on it before it cleared the zone. Maher then shoveled the puck to Switzer, who skated in on Strang and beat him with a backhander for the goal.
However at the 13:40 mark the Lakers tied the score at one on a goal by junior center Daniel O'Donoghue. O'Donoghue received a pass from Zac Frischmon on the left wing and teed up a slap shot that he blasted top-shelf past Komm.
Each team scored once in a wild second period to send the score tied 2-2 heading into the third period. The teams combined for 30 shots on goal with Mercyhurst getting 20 of them, and Komm came up with 19 saves.
Mercyhurst's goal came from sophomore Chris Bodo on the power play at 4:53 to give the Lakers a 2-1 lead. Bodo skated in on net and had his initial shot kicked away by Komm, but the rebound came right back to Bodo allowing him to slide the puck under Komm.
But a little less than three minutes later at 7:45 freshman defenseman Matt Blomquist (Blaine, Minn./Coulee Region Chill) tied the game up with his second goal in as many games. Bentley won a face-off in the offensive zone and Jared Rickord (Skokie, Ill./Springfield Jr. Blues) gained control of the puck in the corner. Rickord then passed the puck back to Blomquist on the blue line, who ripped a slap shot past Strang for his second of the year.
That was the last goal until deep into the third period when Jones gave Mercyhurst a 3-2 lead with 4:00 left in regulation.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at Ryan Arena for a 4:05 pm start.