WALTHAM, Mass. — Bentley College scored four first-period goals to cruise past American International, 7-3, in Atlantic Hockey action at the John A. Ryan Skating Arena Friday night. It is the third straight win for the Falcons, who improved to 9-8-2 overall and 7-4-2 in the AHA, while AIC fell to 3-11-2 and 3-8-2.
The three straight wins for Bentley comes for the first time in over three years, with the last three-game winning streak for the Falcons coming Dec. 11, 2002- Jan. 4, 2003. After scoring four goals in the final five minutes of play against UConn last Saturday night, Bentley scored four goals in the opening period to take a commanding 4-1 lead into the first intermission.
Freshman Jeff Gumaer opened the scoring with his team-leading eighth goal of the year just 2:12 into the game as he jammed home a rebound in front of AIC netminder Tom Fenton. The lead was two 8:52 into the period as senior Josh Thompson beat Fenton from the right circle after a nice feed from senior Paul Markarian.
AIC grabbed a goal back shorthanded as Neil Sullivan blocked a Bentley shot attempt from the point, grabbed the loose puck and beat junior Ray Jean on a breakaway to make it 2-1 midway through the opening period. Bentley bounced right back as freshman Dain Prewitt scored his fourth goal of the season 3:30 later. The Falcons finished the scoring in the first period as junior Marc Zwicky scored from just outside the crease with under four minutes remaining.
Senior Brendan McCartin notched his fourth goal of the season just 1:29 into the second period to put Bentley up, 5-1, forcing AIC to pull Fenton soon afterwards. Senior Ryan Mayhew scored the sixth Falcon goal of the night just over six minutes later on the power play for his second goal of the season. Brent Griffin got a goal back for AIC towards the end of the period for the sophomore’s first goal of the season.
The Yellow Jackets cut the lead to 6-3 with a goal from sophomore Bryan Jurynec 2:36 into the final period, but that was as close as AIC would get. The lead was pushed back to four just over two minutes later as Zwicky netted his second goal of the night and seventh on the season. Bentley created a five-on-three advantage and freshman Tom Dickhudt picked out Zwicky on the back post for an easy one-time goal and Dickhudt’s third assist of the night.
Jean made 27 saves to earn his third straight win for Bentley, while Fenton, who had not allowed more than two goals in any of his last six games, was tagged for five goals in just over a period of action. Cody Robinson made 11 stops in relief for the Yellow Jackets. Three Falcons finished the night with career-high three point games; Zwicky had two goals and an assist, Prewitt had a goal and two assists, while Dickhudt’s three assists brought him to eight helpers on the season.
The two teams finish their home-and-home weekend series Saturday night at 7:00 with Bentley looking for its first-ever four-game winning streak at the Division I level.