WATERTOWN, Mass. – Freshman Ryner Gorowsky (Lino Lakes, Minn./Fairbanks) scored 30 seconds into double overtime to give Bentley University a dramatic 3-2 victory over Sacred Heart in the deciding game three of the Atlantic Hockey first round Sunday night at the JAR.
Max French (West Kelowna, B.C./West Kelowna) got the goal started by pouncing on a SHU turnover in the neutral zone, and fed Gorowsky who was leaking ahead of the play for a breakaway. Gorowsky skated in on SHU goalie Brett Magnus, deked, and beat Magnus low for the goal to send the Falcons onto the quarterfinals.
Bentley will face Air Force in a quarterfinal series in Colorado beginning next Friday night.
Three periods weren't enough to settle it between the two teams, and the game went to overtime tied 2-2. The Pioneers got the better of the first OT with 10 shots to Bentley's 7, and very nearly won it at about the 12:00 minute mark, if not for a stellar glove save by goalie Jayson Argue (Swan River, Manitoba/Nanaimo).
The Falcons led 2-1 after two periods, and held that lead for nearly 13 minutes of the 3rd period as they appeared to be closing in on the victory. However SHU, who had been pressuring the Bentley net leading up to the goal, finally broke through as defenseman Ruslan Rakhmatov fired in a shot from the blue line to tie things up 2-2 at the 12:53 mark.
In the early going of the first period, Bentley created the better scoring chances from Gorowsky on an odd-man rush down the ice, and from Kyle Schmidt (Menomonee Falls, Wisc./Sioux City) off a rebound attempt. However it was Sacred Heart that struck first, as right wing Jordan Minello put the Pioneers up 1-0, 12:42 into the period, off a top shelf wrist shot that went top shelf.
With 53 seconds left in the period, Bentley was called for a slashing penalty. However, the Falcons turned the tables as French scored short-handed with 35 seconds remaining. Gorowsky helped make the goal happen by breaking up an SHU pass and creating a break down the ice. He then fed French who was trailing the play, and French ripped a shot past Magnus to tie the score 1-1.
The Falcons then had the only goal of the 2nd period off the stick of freshman Matt Riggleman (Milford, Mich./Sioux Falls) in a period they controlled with a 10-4 shot advantage. The goal started with a slap shot from the blue line by defenseman Mike Berry (Edmonton, Alberta/Sherwood Park) that Magnus saved, but the rebound kicked loose to Riggleman who slid it into the open net at 8:55 to give Bentley a 2-1 lead.
Argue ended the night with 29 saves to earn his 2nd straight win, as the Falcons climbed out of a 0-1 deficit after they dropped game one. They'll now head to Colorado to face Air Force, where the teams split earlier in the season.