BUFFALO, N.Y. – Bentley defenseman Tanner Jago (Brandon, Manitoba/Portage) scored a late 3rd period goal to set up a tight finish, but hosts Canisius hung on over the final minutes for a 4-3 victory over the Falcons on Friday night at the HarborCenter in Atlantic Hockey action.
Late in the 3rd period with Canisius leading 4-2, the Falcons got back in it as Jago scored an extra-attacker goal with 2:57 remaining to cut the deficit to 4-3 and set up for a frantic finish. But despite an extra-attacker being brought back on with 1:22 left, Canisius was able to prevent the tying goal and hang on for the victory.
Canisius struck first 4:34 into the first period on a goal by forward Dylan McLoughlin. Bentley went on the power play shortly after, following a boarding call on Canisius' Joshua Gabriel, but came up empty. The Falcons' penalty kill was then pressed into action after a double minor call gave the Griffs a four-minute power play starting at the 8:36 mark. However, it was Bentley that had the best scoring chance. Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) intercepted a pass at the point to create a breakaway on goalie Charles Williams, only for Williams to come up with a kick save as French went five-hole.
The 2nd period was a wild one with five goals scored. Bentley struck first just 1:02 into the period as French lit the lamp for the 3rd time this season, with freshman Ryner Gorowsky (Lino Lakes, Minn./Fairbanks) getting the assist. A little over three minutes later, it was Gorowsky scoring to give Bentley a 2-1 lead. Gorowsky, who scored his 2nd goal in as many games, finished off a 2 on 1 break with freshman Matt Riggleman (Milford, Mich./Sioux Falls) provided the assist.
Just under 45 seconds later though, Canisius' Ryan Schmelzer scored on a breakaway to knot the game 2-2 at the 5:14 mark of the 2nd period.
The teams went back and forth over the next eight minutes without a goal being scored. Canisius, however, closed the period strong with two straight goals. McLaughlin netted his 2nd of the night at 13:21 after he knocked the puck into the back of the net off a scramble in front goal. Junior Jeff Murray then scored 1:11 before intermission after he finished off a 3 on 1 break for the Griffins into the offensive zone.
French and Gorowsky each finished with two points to lead the Bentley offense. The Falcons will look to gain a series split in the second game tomorrow night at 7:35 pm.