HAMDEN, Conn. — Simon St. Who?
Geordan Murphy earned his first win of his collegiate career, posting 33 saves in place of number-one goalie Simon St. Pierre — sidelined with a knee injury — as Bentley beat Quinnipiac 3-2.
In the first period, the Falcons struck first with an opportunistic play from inside their own end. Quinnipiac forward Joe Dumais has lost his stick and the clearing attempt by Bentley’s Kyle Larman redirected off the abandoned stick right to Bentley forward Carmen Posteraro at center ice.
He skated the other way for a two on one with Ryan Lessnau. Posteraro waited until he crossed over the blue line and entered the slot to give the puck to Lessnau on his right. Lessnau quickly redirected the puck past Quinnipiac goalie Justin Eddy, to give the Falcons the 1-0 lead just 4:36 into the game.
The Bobcats for the second game in a row had plenty of chances but failed to capitalize. The Bobcats out shot Bentley 16 to 9 in the first period, but failed to score.
“Last year, last four or five years were up 3-0 after the first period and we’re off to the races, but when you struggle to score goals, you’re mistakes get magnified,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold.
The second period provided a chance for the Falcons to take a 2-0 lead 10:53 into the stanza. Bentley’s Carmen Posteraro and Ryan Mayhew set up Kyle Larman back at the point, he then ripped a shot past Eddy who was screened by traffic in front of the net.
‘We had a meeting this week and we just wanted to come together as a team and play team hockey, and everybody just rooted each other on their and there was no individualism tonight at all,” said Bentley head coach Ryan Soderquist
Bentley controlled the play in the second period and also out shot the Bobcats 11 to six in the middle frame.
“We didn’t work that hard in the second period, I thought that was disappointing, but in the first and third period were worked hard,” said Pecknold.
The Bobcats broke their scoreless drought of 88:10 when they finally scored on the power play. At the 3:09 mark of the final period Ryan Morton brought the puck in the Falcons zone. Morton left it for Matt Craig at the top of the slot. Then Craig fired a shot that kicked off of Bentley goalie Geordan Murphy’s right pad, and right on to the stick of Matt Froehlich, who lifted into the back of the net to bring the Bobcats within one.
The Falcons struck back over three minutes later when Carmen Posteraro put together a great individual effort off a pass from Ryan Lessnau at the top of the right face off circle. Posteraro took the pass and skated right to the top of the crease and faked a shot to the blocker side, and then brought the puck on his back hand and lifted the puck over Eddy and into the back of the net to give Bentley a 3-1 lead.
Quinnipiac came back on a critical power play to cut the deficit to one. With 5:10 left in the game Bentley’s Brett Murphy was called for two penalties on the same shift. First, he picked up a holding penalty and then he knocked the net off the moorings, which sent him to the box for a delay of game penalty as well.
The four-minute power play enabled the Bobcats offense to strike again. Matt Craig controlled the puck along the near side corner boards and fired a shot on net. The rebound came loose for Matt Froehlich standing in front who whacked the puck on his backhand through the legs of Murphy to bring the Bobcats back within one at 3-2.
“Matt played well, we had a few kids play well tonight, but we’re just not finishing,” said Pecknold
Strong team defense and great goaltending prevailed as the Falcons pulled out the 3-2 win. It was the first win for Bentley in the series since February 19, 1997, a span of 17 games.
“He hasn’t had many starts in his two years here as a sophomore, and for him to come out and to play the way he did tonight was unbelievable for us, he put us in a position to win, and we were able to take advantage of it,” said Soderquist
The win for Bentley also snapped a 17-game unbeaten streak on home ice for the Bobcats.
Quinnipiac and Bentley will face off Saturday night in Waltham, Mass., at 7 p.m..