SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – An early third period goal by AIC's Alex MacMillian was the difference as the Yellow Jackets skated past Bentley University 2-1 Friday night in an Atlantic Hockey matchup at the Olympia Ice Center.
With the score tied 1-1 at the start of the third period, AIC broke the deadlock and took a 2-1 lead on MacMillian's goal at 3:52. MacMillian broke down the left wing unmarked, and fired a shot from the left face-off circle that went in far post.
Bentley had a quality scoring chance with two minutes remaining with Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside Warriors) all alone in front of the net to redirect a pass from the left wing, but the puck went wide.
In search of the tying goal, goaltender Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) was pulled in favor of an extra-attacker with under one minute remaining. Junior Jared Rickord (Skokie, Ill./Springfield Jr. Blues) had a chance to get a shot on net from the slot with 15 seconds left after breaking down the ice, but was unable to fully get his stick on the puck.
The loss drops Bentley's record to 12-17-3 overall and 10-13-3 in Atlantic Hockey. They will need a win in the regular season finale against AIC Saturday night, and some help, to avoid playing on the road in the first round of the postseason.
Bentley jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just 1:49 into the opening period when senior Joe Campanelli (Pierrefonds, Quebec) potted his sixth goal of the season. Classmate Brett Hartung (Tallahassee, Fla./Wichita Falls Wildcats) set the goal up, feeding Campanelli a pass from behind the net. Campanelli was positioned in the slot, just to the left of goalie Ben Meisner, and fired a wrist shot that beat Meisner high and to the glove side.
But with exactly eight minutes left in the period, AIC tied it up on a goal by Adam Pleskach. From a tight angle on Komm's glove side, Pleskach lifted a shot over Komm's glove for the goal.
Neither team scored in the second period, though both sides had its chances, but the score stayed tied thanks to the work in net by both Komm and Meisner. AIC outshot Bentley 16-10 in the period, but Komm stopped each one.
On the night, Komm made 34 saves overall, while Meisner stopped 31 shots.
These same two teams will close out the regular season Saturday night at Ryan Arena. Face-off is 7:05 pm.