WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Freshman Tom Fenton made 33 saves and allowed only a single second-period goal a night after allowing five goals in little more than a period of action to lead American International to a 2-1 win over Bentley College Saturday night in Atlantic Hockey action Saturday night at the Olympia Ice Center. With the win the Yellow Jackets earned a split of the weekend series and improved to 4-11-2 overall and 4-8-2 in the AHA, while Bentley fell to 9-9-2 and 7-5-2.
Bentley opened the scoring 1:12 into the second period as senior defenseman Brett Murphy netted his second goal of the season. Sophomore Matt Schwartz broke into the right side of the AIC zone and had his shot blocked, but Murphy, who was crashing the net, slid the loose puck under the pads of Fenton to give the Falcons the lead.
AIC evened the game at 1-1 six minutes later thanks to Ryan Robin. Jereme Tendler shot at the Bentley goal from a tight angle at the bottom edge of the right circle. The shot trickled behind junior Ray Jean and sat untouched in the middle of the crease until Robin poked the loose puck home.
The Yellow Jackets took the lead with 29 seconds to go on the period on their first power-play opportunity of the game. A shot from the left point by Preston Cicchine went wide of Jean to the short side, but the puck caromed off the back boards directly to Tendler at the back post for an easy goal.
Bentley was unable to generate much pressure in front of Fenton all evening, as the Yellow Jackets forecheck did a good job of not allowing the Falcons an opportunity to attack up the ice quickly. The Falcons tried to add pressure towards the end of the game, but a five-minute major penalty to freshman Tom Dickhudt with under two minutes to play all but ended any chance of the Falcons scoring the tying goal.
It was a weekend of contrasting games. A night after scoring four first-period goals, Bentley was held scoreless through the first twenty minutes of action on Saturday night. The Falcons had an opportunity in the opening seconds of the game as a loose puck fell to Dickhudt at the back post, but he rushed the opportunity and backhanded his effort wide on the short side.
The Yellow Jackets created the best chance of the first period as Neil Sullivan fed Robin in behind the Bentley defense along the left side. Robin streaked in on Jean and tried to drag the puck before shooting for the near post, but Jean held his ground and made a pad save at the near post to keep the game scoreless at that juncture.
Jean finished the night with 33 saves and lost his first game in the last four starts, while Fenton picked up his third win in his last six appearances.