NORTHFORD, Conn. — If defense wins Q-Cup championships, then it was easy to see why AIC and Bentley were in the consolation game, in a game that featured nine goals. After two freewheeling periods, Bentley shut down AIC long enough to take a 6-3 win.
It didn’t take long for Bentley to begin a barrage of shots on AIC goaltender Chad Davis. The Falcons scored just 1:56 into the first period on a miscommunication in the AIC zone. Bentley’s Chris Gill saw the opportunity for a loose puck in the slot and swooped in and stickhandled around a defenseless Chad Davis to give Bentley the 1-0 lead.
It took over eight minutes for AIC to get their first on shot on goal. Meanwhile, Bentley continued to out work AIC in the neutral zone, as Bentley’s Ryan Lessnau darted from his own blueline the length of the ice for a beating the AIC defender in a foot race. Lessnau slashed across the slot, and turned and fired he puck on the ice to the far post. The puck deflected of the paddle of Davis’s goalie stick and up into the net, giving Bentley a two-goal advantage.
“We were happy to see in the first period, our guys come out with a jump in their skate and wanted to work hard and get the puck down low and beat up on the other teams d and I was pretty happy with that,” said Bentley head coach Ryan Soderquist.
The Falcons shot themselves in the foot at 10:53 mark of the first when Carmen Posteraro was called for roughing with AIC goalie Chad Davis after a scrum in the AIC end. This allowed for the Yellow Jackets to go on the power play and they would capitalize. At 11:39 Guillame Caron set up shop behind the Bentley net and then found C.J. McConnell back at the point, who ripped a shot just of the inside of the far post to cut the AIC deficit down to one.
Bentley got the two goal lead back at 14:40 when Troy Weibler skated along the right hand wall and shot a cannon of a slapshot that found the twine behind Davis and Bentley bolstered their led back to 3-1.
“As far as I am concerned they were just hungrier than we were, I don’t know why that is but I thought that was a big factor,” said American International head coach Gary Wright
The offensive explosion in the first frame continued for Bentley on the power play at 17:05 as Seth Vinocur lined up a shot from the point that Carmen Posteraro tipped over Davis as he came across the crease, which put Bentley up 4-1.
In the second period, Bentley took just 1:12 to increase their lead to 5-1 when of the face off to the left of Davis, Brendan McCartin fired a quick wrist shot that beat Davis and increased the Bentley lead to 5-1.
Exactly two minutes later, the Yellow Jackets came back to make it 5-2 when Ben Ellsworth took a perfect pass from Jeff Valdes out of the right hand corner. Ellsworth teed up a blast that just avoided Simon St. Pierre’s right shoulder which cut the Bentley lead down to three at 5-2.
Bentley added a power-play goal before the end of the second period to make it 6-2 heading into the third.
The defensive element of the game that had been missing in the first two periods appeared finally in the third. The Yellow Jackets managed just one goal at 9:36 when a lose rebound came lose off a shot in the slot by C.J McConnell and Andy Walbert picked up the puck on the far side post to bring the Yellow Jackets with in striking distance at 6-3. However, the Falcons clamped down and shut out the Yellow Jackets for the rest of the game to take third place in the Q-Cup tournament.