WEST POINT, N.Y. — Bentley junior goaltender Ray Jean made 35 saves to help Bentley to a 2-2 tie against Army Saturday night in a critical Atlantic Hockey match-up at Tate Rink. The two teams entered the night battling for fourth place in the league standings, separated by just a single point, and left the night in the same position. Army leads Bentley by a point, though the Falcons have three games in hand.
Bentley (9-10-3, 7-6-3 AHA) broke a 1-1 tie 5:09 into the third period on sophomore Anthony Pellarin’s second goal of the season. Freshman Jeff Gumaer took a slap shot just inside the blue line that hit Pellarin’s body and fell to his feet in front of the net. Pellarin calmly collected the puck and shot it past Brad Roberts to give Bentley the lead.
Army (9-13-4, 7-8-4 AHA) hit back just 1:15 later when Robb Ross directed home a rebound following a Zach McKelvie shot to even the game at 2-2. Roberts and Jean made the score stand through the remainder of the period to send the game into overtime. Neither goaltender was seriously tested in the extra session, as each team only registered a single shot on goal over the final five minutes. Roberts, the reigning Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Week, finished the night with 23 saves on 25 shots, while Jean allowed just a pair of goals on 37 shots.
The first period opened with Bentley taking three penalties in the first 10 minutes, but Jean kept the game scoreless despite the fact that Army ran up a 9-1 advantage in shots on goal. Bentley would make the Black Knights pay for wasting the early opportunities by netting the opener on its first power play of the game with just under six minutes to play in the first period.
Senior defenseman Josh Chase made a square pass along the blue line to senior Brendan McCartin at the right point. McCartin wristed a shot towards the cage and freshman Dain Prewitt redirected the shot past Roberts for his fifth goal of the season. Bentley went into the first intermission leading, 1-0, despite being out shot 13-5.
Army evened the game 1:34 into the second period on a two-man advantage. Tim Manthey found space at the top of the slot and his low shot to the far post beat a screed Jean for his sixth goal of the season. Army continued to pressure the Falcon net after tying the game, out shooting Bentley, 14-1, over the first 11:30 of the second period, about half of which while on the power play. Despite the heavy pressure, Jean was superb keeping Bentley tied heading into the third period, making 30 saves through two periods.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at Tate Rink to close out the weekend series at 7:00.