NORTHFORD, Conn. — Bentley opened its season with a hard fought, come from behind 2-2, draw against Air Force Friday afternoon at the Q-Cup in Northford, Connecticut. Bentley will play at 7 PM tomorrow night against Quinnipiac in the Championship Game after Bentley advanced in a shootout 3-1.
The game is officially a tie, but a shootout was played to determine who would advance to the finals of the Q-Cup tomorrow afternoon. All three Bentley players who took shots in the shootout scored and Simon St. Pierre made two saves en route to the shootout win.
Air Force (0-0-1) pushed most of the action in the first period, outshooting Bentley 15-8. It didn’t matter however, as St. Pierre made several key saves to keep the game scoreless. Air Force almost got the opener short-handed with under three minutes remaining in the period. Josh Print picked up a misplay by the Bentley defense just outside of Bentley’s blue line and broke in alone on St. Pierre, who made a spectacular save.
The game went into the first intermission scoreless, but Bentley had two skaters in the box to begin the second period. Air Force was unable to convert with the two-man advantage, but got the opener minutes later.
A turnover inside the Bentley zone was picked up by Jay Mendenwaldt at the top of the right circle. A snap wrist shot to the upper right corner went over St. Pierre’s shoulder and Air Force had a 1-0 advantage.
Bentley (0-0-1) narrowly missed tying the game later in the period. John Hooks broke into the Air Force zone and shot through the pads of Peter Foster into the net, but the goal was disallowed because of too many men on the ice.
Air Force doubled the lead on the resulting power play with just over five minutes remaining in the period. Andrew Ramsey split two Bentley defenders at the blue line and skated in on St. Pierre. Ramsey went to his backhand and flipped the puck over St. Pierre’s stretched out pad and Bentley trailed by two.
The lead would be cut in half less than two minutes later. Ryan Mayhew took a pass from Brendan McCartin and shot as he spun six feet from the top of the crease. His shot found the five-hole of Foster and Bentley was right back within a goal.
The second period was much choppier than the first with eleven penalties after only seeing six in the first. Bentley would get the tying goal 12:33 into the third period, directly following an Air Force penalty. Anthony Pellarin won the draw back to Josh Chase at the right point. Chase’s slapshot found its way through traffic in front of the net and past Foster to even the game.
St. Pierre and Foster would both make the score line stand up throughout the remainder of the third period and a five minute overtime period. St. Pierre ended the game with 44 saves, while Foster finished with 21.
In the shootout, St. Pierre steered Ramsey wide and Bentley would take a 1-0 lead after Carmen Posteraro converted his opportunity. St. Pierre would make a save on Brandon Merkosky and Pellarin would make it 2-0 with his opportunity. After Air Force scored on its third chance, Ryan Mayhew beat Foster five-hole and Bentley lead 3-1. St. Pierre would make sure the shootout would go no further when he made a stop on Ryan Wiggins.