WATERTOWN, Mass. – Bentley kept it close until the final minutes, but Air Force pulled away for a 5-1 victory over the Falcons at the JAR on Saturday night for a series sweep. Freshman Ryner Gorowsky (Lino Lakes, Minn./Fairbanks) had the goal for Bentley.
It was a tight, 2-1 game that could have gone either way until the final 3:06, when a goal by center Tyler Ledford opened it up and lifted visiting Air Force to the victory. Air Force would add an empty net goal from left wing Jordan Himley with 1:02 left, and a late goal from defenseman Phil Boje with 28 seconds remaining to seal it.
Bentley's best chance in the 1st period came from junior Andrew McDonald (New Brighton, Minn./Fargo), who had a breakaway on Air Force goalie Shane Starrett, but Starrett denied him with a blocker save for one of his 27 saves on the night.
Air Force though got the game's first goal, which came from right winger Erich Jaeger at the 9:18 mark.
Air Force took that 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but it didn't take Bentley long into the 2nd period for Gorowsky to find the tying goal on the power play at the 1:56 mark. Gorowsky had an initial shot on goal saved by Starrett, but he jammed at the rebound and got into the back of the net for his 2nd goal of the series. Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) and Matt Riggleman (Milford, Mich./Sioux Falls)
The score stayed 1-1 for the next 10-plus minutes, until Air Force's Kyle Haak struck at 12:28 to give them a 2-1 lead.
In the 3rd period, Bentley's best chance to find the tying goal came on the power play after a boarding penalty on Haak at the 14:43 point. Defenseman Alexey Solovyev (Moscow, Russia/Lone Star) teed up a slap shot that he rocketed on net and hit Starrett in the mask, but somehow the puck stayed out of the net.
Shortly after, Ledford's goal, assisted by Himley, put Air Force ahead 3-1.
Bentley drops to 8-10-4 in Atlantic Hockey games with the defeat. They'll look to get back on track next weekend at Robert Morris.