Waltham, Mass. – A late scoring opportunity for Bentley as time expired in the 3rd period was ruled no goal, which allowed Merrimack to hang on for a 1-0 victory over the Falcons in the season opener at Bentley Arena on Friday night.
Merrimack was clinging to a 1-0 lead down the stretch and Bentley had an extra attacker on the ice in search of the tying goal. In the final sequence, senior defenseman Tanner Jago (Brandon, Manitoba) put a shot on net from along the boards on the left that went wide of the net, and sophomore Luke Santerno (Smithers, B.C.) dug the puck out and played a pass out in front of the net. Matt Riggleman (Milford, Mich.) got his stick on the puck and a scrum ensued with the net being knocked off its moorings. After a lengthy review by the officials, no goal was the call and the game ended in a 1-0 win for Merrimack.
Merrimack took a 1-0 lead with 1:58 remaining in the 1st period on a power play goal by right wing Tyler Irvine. A cross-ice pass from defenseman Logan Coomes to Irvine in the left face-off circle set him up for the goal.
Bentley outshot Merrimack in both the 2nd and 3rd periods, by 9-6 and 9-8 counts. They were unable to cash in on any of their five power play opportunities. Bentley had a 25-23 edge for the game overall.
Falcons goalie Aidan Pelino (Oakville, Ontario) made 22 saves, while his counterpart Craig Pantano made 25 saves to earn the win.
Bentley now sets its sights on its Atlantic Hockey opener, which is Tuesday night at AIC.