WATERTOWN, Mass.– Sacred Heart University came away with a 5-2 victory over the Bentley University hockey team Saturday night at Ryan Arena to complete a weekend Atlantic Hockey series sweep. It's the first time this season the Falcons have been swept in AHA play.
The Pioneers led 2-0 after the first period on goals by freshman Jordan Minello at 6:46 and junior Ben Lake at 19:07. Sacred Heart then tacked on a power play goal from junior Brian Sheehan at 4:02 of the second period to take a 3-0 lead.
But Bentley began to fight back a little over six minutes later as its dangerous power play struck again. Sophomore Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo Clippers), who has been doing the majority of damage on the man-advantage for Bentley this season, scored at 10:33 to make it a 3-1 game. That was his 22nd goal of the year, with 16 coming on the power play. Gladiuk scored with a devastating wrist shot along the right-hand boards that Sacred Heart goalie Alex Vazzano had no chance of stopping.
The Falcons then got to within 3-2 towards the end of the period when they scored on the power play again, this time with junior Alex Grieve (Calgary, Alberta/Westside Warriors) lighting the lamp at 18:29. Grieve took a pass in the slot from Gladiuk, and beat Vazzano five-hole with a shot that slid along the ice for his 20th goal of the season.
However that was Bentley's final goal of the game, despite some quality scoring chances. None better than a two-on-one break with Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) and Derek Bacon (Calgary, Alberta/Okotoks Oilers) midway through the third period. Switzer played a pass off to Bacon, who was skating down the middle of the ice and had an open look on net, only to be robbed by a great glove save by Vazzano.
Sacred Heart took advantage of that missed opportunity and went ahead 4-2 at 11:13. The goal came from sophomore Jake Lynes, who scored on an unstoppable slap shot from the point that went in top-shelf.
Bentley pulled goalie Blake Dougherty (East Amherst, N.Y./Bay State Breakers) for the extra-attacker, who came on in relief after the first period and made 15 total saves, with just over two minutes remaining as they still trailed 4-2. However, the Pioneers clinched the game with an empty-net goal from freshman Spencer Graboski with 57 seconds left to go up 5-2.
The defeat drops Bentley's Atlantic Hockey record to 14-7-4, while Sacred Heart improves to 10-15-0 in conference play. Bentley will play its final home game of the regular season next Friday night when they host AIC on Senior Night. That is the first game of a home-and-home series with the Yellow Jackets, with Saturday's game taking place at the Olympia Ice Center in Springfield.