Niagara University, N.Y. – Bentley saw its longest in the nation unbeaten streak come to an end at 12 games on Friday night with a hard fought 4-3 defeat to Niagara in the series finale at Dwyer Arena.
The 12 game streak saw Bentley go 10-0-2, with eight wins in a row until tonight, both program Division I records. It's the team's first defeat of 2019.
Bentley trailed 4-2 late, but a goal by senior Drew Callin (Middleton, Wisc.) with the extra-attacker on the ice, with 2:48 remaining, made it a one goal game.
That setup a flurry by Bentley at the end after goalie Aidan Pelino (Oakville, Ontario) went back to the bench for the extra-attacker. Bentley proceeded to keep the puck in the offensive zone for almost the entire 1:51 that was remaining.
They peppered Niagara goalie Brian Wilson with seven shots, with two shots each by Jakov Novak (Windsor, Ontario) and Jonathan Desbiens (Montreal, Quebec), but Wilson came up big and preserved the win for the Purple Eagles.
The first period was scoreless, with Pelino shining for Bentley with 14 saves in the opening period. But Niagara broke the deadlock in the 2nd period, as they scored twice just 29 seconds apart. The goals came from center Ben Sokay at 6:22 and defenseman Noah Delmas at 6:51.
Bentley though battled back and got to within one goal on a tally by senior Cody DePourcq (Penticton, B.C.) at the 12:57 mark, after he converted an opportunity out in front after a pass by Novak.
The game went into the 3rd period with Niagara ahead 2-1, and Pelino made sure it stayed that way 2:34 into the period when he denied a penalty shot by Johnny Curran with a glove save.
Niagara though did eventually increase the lead to 3-1 with a power play goal by left wing Justin Kendall at 8:47.
However, Bentley again fought back when captain Tanner Jago (Brandon, Manitoba) scored on a slap shot from the blue line less than a minute later to make it 3-2, his 8th goal of the year.
Niagara went back ahead by two goals at 4-2 on Sokay's 2nd goal of the night at 11:44, just under two minutes after Jago's goal.
The score stayed 4-2 until Callin lit the lamp with 2:48 remaining, with a one-timer from a pass by Will Garin (Mound, Minn.), his 10th of the season.
Pelino finished the night with 33 saves for Bentley, while Wilson made 30 stops.
Bentley will now go into the 2nd to last weekend of the regular season still in second place in the standings with a 14-8-2 Atlantic Hockey record for 30 points.