Sacred Heart Overcomes Bentley in 3rd Period to Take Game One, 4-1

Alexey Solovyev
Alexey Solovyev

WATERTOWN, Mass. – Sacred Heart scored four times in the 3rd period to overcome a 1-0 deficit to take game one from Bentley University, 4-1 on Friday night in the opening game of the Atlantic Hockey first round series.

The Falcons led 1-0 after two periods after defenseman Alexey Solovyev (Moscow, Russia/Lone Star) scored midway through the first period. But Sacred Heart scored four times in the 3rd period to secure the game one victory, making the Falcons face an elimination game tomorrow night.

The Pioneers tied it 1-1 on a goal by defenseman Mike Crocock 2:13 into the 3rd period. The score remained that way for the next eight minutes, until right wing Vito Bavaro put the Pioneers in front 2-1, as he converted a rebound in front of the net off a saved shot from left wing Evan Jasper.

Bentley searched for the tying goal over the next seven-plus minutes, but it was SHU that got the all-important next goal. It came from senior center Justin Danforth at the 17:23 mark, off a feed from left wing Stephen Hladin, to take a 3-1 lead.

Sacred Heart the sealed it with an empty-net goal from Hladin with 44 seconds remaining.

The Falcons got on the scoreboard first at 10:36 of the first via Solovyev's 7th goal of the season. Left winger Matt Riggleman (Milford, Mich./Sioux Falls) got the play started with a shot on net that was saved by SHU goalie Brett Magnus. Solovyev though crashed the net and fought through traffic to poke the rebound past Magnus to give Bentley a 1-0 lead.

Late in the period, Bentley's penalty kill sprang into action to successfully kill off a Pioneers 5-on-3 power play. With Solovyev already in the box, the PK killed off the two man-advantage for SHU for 16 seconds after a slashing penalty.

Neither team could score in the 2nd period, despite a combined 24 shots on goal. Bentley had a 14-10 edge in shots during the period.

Bentley will look to stave off elimination in tomorrow night's game two at the JAR. Face-off time is 7:05 pm.