USAFA, Colo. – Air Force held off a late Bentley rally in the final minute to hold on for a 3-2 win Saturday night at Cadet Ice Arena in the first game of 2016 for both teams.
With Bentley trailing 3-1 and its net empty in favor of the extra-attacker, defenseman Matt Blomquist (Blaine, Minn./Coulee Region) blasted a shot from the blueline to make it a 3-2 game with 1:02 remaining.
After Air Force controlled the puck for most of the final minute, Bentley's last rush up the ice came close to producing the tying goal but its final shot and rebound attempt went just wide.
The defeat drops Bentley's record to 5-5-2, while Air Force improves to 5-4-2.
After a scoreless first period, Air Force netted three goals in the 2nd frame. The opening goal was scored on a tip-in by freshman Matt Serratore 2:24 in. Air Force then closed the period strong with two goals just 50 seconds apart, the first coming on the power play at the 15:35 mark by forward Jordan Himley. Sophomore Erik Baskin had the third goal at 16:25 on a backhand shot off a rebound.
The Falcons though chipped away at the deficit in the 3rd period on senior Andrew Gladiuk's (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo) goal at 10:45. His 7th goal of the season, Gladiuk converted the rebound off a shot by Kyle Schmidt (Menomonee Falls, Wisc.).
Air Force though was able to hang on to that 3-1 lead until the final minute in part by going on the power play twice.
Bentley goalie Jayson Argue (Swan River, Manitoba/Nanaimo Clippers) made 29 saves in his first action back.
These two teams will close out their series tomorrow at 7:05 eastern.