The Bentley Falcons (1-0-0, 0-0-0 AHA) came away with a 3-1 win over the Air Force Falcons (1-2-0, 0-0-0 CHA) in the first semifinal of the 10th annual Q-Cup in Northford, Conn. to advance to the finals Saturday night.
Bentley got on the board at 3:37 of the first, on a power-play goal by Anthony Canzoneri, his first of the season. Brendan McCartin had the initial shot from the point, but was blocked; Canzoneri picked up the bouncing puck and put it past Air Force goaltender Peter Foster for the tally.
Bentley almost took a two-goal advantage early in the first, when Dain Prewitt was wide open in the slot, tried to go five-hole, but was stopped by Foster.
Bentley got on the board again, this time in the second period on a tally by Marc Zwicky. Josh Chase received the pass from McCartin and fed Zwicky for the marker at 4:47 of the period to make it 2-0.
Through the first two periods, Air Force had 23 shots and many scoring opportunities, but couldn’t figure out how to get one past Bentley goaltender Ray Jean.
On the first shot of the third period at 58 seconds, Brian Gineo finally solved Jean. Josh Print sent a pass to Gineo, who shot from the top of the circle and put the puck past Jean, glove side right below the crossbar, to cut the lead in half to 2-1.
Air Force appeared to have the momentum shift towards its side, but less then two minutes later a Kyle Larman power-play tally proved otherwise. Jaye Judd sent a one-timer pass to Larman, who blasted it home to twinkle the twine.
“We needed to win the period, but we took a penalty, but Bentley answered right back,” said Air Force head coach Frank Serratore.
Air Force went 0 for 11 on the power play with only four shots on net.
“Most of our penalty-killing unit is back from last year and we were ranked pretty high,” said Bentley head coach Ryan Soderquist.
Eric Ehn, who leads Air Force with three goals, was held pointless on the night, even while recording eight shots.
Jean made 32 saves in goal to earn his first victory of the season, while his counterpart Foster made 16 in the losing effort.
“There was not a lot of open ice, and Jean was very good,” said Serratore. Everything was straight at him.”
“He [Jean] played hard and within himself, made all basic saves and covered up the rebounds,” said Soderquist.
Bentley will play the winner of the Quinnipiac/RIT semifinal at 7 p.m., while Air Force will play the loser at 4 p.m.