WATERTOWN, Mass. – An early third period goal by Canisius defenseman Cameron Heath proved to be the difference as the visiting Golden Griffins hung on for a 3-2 victory over Bentley University on Friday night at the JAR.
Bentley outshot the Griffs 15-9 in the first period and 15-10 in the third period, but early goals by Canisius in each of those periods help lift them to the victory. Bentley, which held a 37-33 edge in shots for the night overall, received goals from freshman Luke Santerno (Smithers, B.C.) on the power play, and senior Matt Sieckhaus (St. Louis, Mo.).
Canisius got on the board just 1:25 into the proceedings as defenseman Jack Stander got the goal. Center Nick Hutchison set the goal up after skating into the offensive zone down the left wing and feeding a centering pass to Stander, who got off a shot in between the face-off circle for the goal.
Following the goal though, Bentley proceeded to control the period with the six shot advantage in shots and more offensive zone time, yet could not put a shot past Canisius goalie Daniel Urbani.
Into the second period, the Griffs made it 2-0 with a power play goal from defenseman Jimmy Mazza at the 8:38 mark. But Bentley responded just over two minutes later, and 16 seconds into a Canisius penalty for interference, Santerno scored 8th goal of the season and third in two games at the 10:50 mark to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Defenseman Tanner Jago (Brandon, Manitoba) got the goal started with a pass from the point to junior Drew Callin (Middleton, Wisc.) on the left wing. Callin then quickly hit Santerno with a pass on the far post, who redirected the puck past Urbani for the goal.
The second period ended with Canisius leading 2-1, but 48 seconds into the third period, they extended the lead to 3-1 on Heath's goal, who quickly shot from the near post after left wing Dylan McLaughlin entered the offensive zone down the right wing and fed him a backhand pass.
Bentley chipped away with Sieckhaus' fourth goal of the season at the 4:29 mark. Defenseman Brett Orr (Elkhorn, Manitoba) fed him a pass from behind the net, and Sieckhaus flipped a shot over Urbani to cut the deficit to one goal.
However, that's as close as Bentley could get the remainder of the game. Goaltender Aidan Pelino (Oakville, Ontario) was pulled for the extra-attacker for the final 1:10, but Canisius was able to hang on.
The Falcons will look for a split of the weekend tomorrow afternoon when this series concludes with a 4:05 face-off.