PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Undermanned Bentley pushed top-seed Robert Morris to the limit but ultimately ran out of gas as the Colonials won game three 6-3 to win the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals series and advance on to Rochester next weekend.
Bentley was without six injured forwards, including captain Andrew Gladiuk (White Rock, B.C./Nanaimo) for games two and three, yet still won game one against top-seeded Robert Morris and forced the only game three among the four quarterfinal playoff series.
Still though, the Falcons led 1-0 after the first period on a goal by defenseman Matt Blomquist (Blaine, Minn./Coulee Region), his 2nd of the series. The puck was dug out of the corner by senior Michael Reardon (Norwood, Mass./South Shore), who fed Blomquist a pass at the top of the right face-off circle. With time to shoot, Blomquist snapped off a wrist shot that beat RMU goalie Terry Shafer and clanged in off both posts.
Bentley had a power play opportunity early in the 2nd period which produced a couple of good scoring chances, but just over a minute after it expired RMU scored the tying goal from right wing Daniel Leavens at 7:38.
The goal by Leavens set off a run of four goals in less than seven minutes for RMU, with Leavens and David Friedmann each scoring two straight. Right winger Zac Lynch added a power play goal at 17:51 and they led 5-1 after two periods.
Reardon added a power play goal for Bentley at 7:58 of the 3rd period, scoring off a slap shot in the slot, assisted by Derek Bacon (Calgary, Alberta/Okotoks). The Colonials got a power play goal from defenseman Chase Golightly at the 17:27 mark, and Tyler Deresky (Flemington, N.J./Amarillo) scored for Bentley with just one second left, assisted by Bacon and defenseman Billy Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass./Chicago), to provide the final 6-3 score.
The game brings to a close the careers for seven Bentley seniors; Gladiuk, Blomquist, goalie Gabe Antoni (Lansdale, Pa./Springfield), who started all six playoff games, forwards Bacon, Tyler Krause (Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) and Reardon and co-captain Eiserman.
Gladiuk finishes his career with 153 points, 2nd most all-time in the program's Division I history and currently tied for the most among active NCAA players.