BUFFALO, N.Y. — Bentley scored three third-period goals to upset Canisius 4-2 in the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals Saturday night at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.
Canisius, the number-two seed, sees its season end at 16-15-4. The seventh-seeded Falcons improve to 8-19-6 and will face top-seeded Quinnipiac in the semifinals next weekend.
Canisius jumped to an early 1-0 lead just 21 seconds into the game on Jon Durno’s fifth goal of the season. Durno tipped a shot from the left point by Craig Nooyen past Bentley netminder Simon St. Pierre, giving the Griffs an early advantage.
The lead held until the 8:57 mark of the second period, when Bentley’s Brendan McCartin knotted the game at 1. A shot by John Chase bounced off the end boards and McCartin caught Canisius goalie Bryan Worosz out of position and deposited the puck into the empty net.
Bentley took a 2-1 lead at the 2:54 mark of the third period on a power-play goal by Ryan Lessnau. Lessnau slipped past a Canisius defender and slid the puck past Worosz’s outstretched leg for the go-ahead goal.
Canisius knotted the game at 2-2 at the 7:01 mark on Joel Kitchen’s team-leading 14th goal of the season. Mike Ruberto’s shot from the point was saved by St. Pierre, but Kitchen jumped on the rebound and found the back of the net.
But Bentley got the game-winner of the stick of Paul Markarian just 2:06 later as Markarian drove to the net and slipped the puck inside the post for the 3-2 advantage with just over 10 minutes left to play.
Paul Saclici sealed the win with an unassisted empty-net goal with 49 seconds remaining.
Worosz posted 21 saves in the loss, finishing his career as the all-time leader in saves at Canisius with 2,771 stops. He is also the career leader in games played by a goaltender (110), minutes played (6373:09), goals against average (2.82) and ties (16).
St. Pierre posted 28 saves in the win, including 17 in the third period.