WEST POINT, N.Y. — Tim Manthey and Bryce Hollweg scored two goals each to lead Army to a 6-2 win over Bentley Saturday night in the Atlantic Hockey quarterfinals at Tate Rink.
The Black Knights (18-11-5, 15-8-5 AHA) used four second-period goals to pull away from the Falcons (12-22-1, 11-17-0 AHA).
Army will now go to Rochester, N.Y., where it will play Connecticut in the semifinals of the AHA tournament at Blue Cross Arena. The Huskies defeated Mercyhurst, 5-4, to advance. The win also upped the Black Knights’ season total to 18, their most since the 2002-03 squad also skated to 18 victories.
Bentley jumped on the board first with a goal from Kane Osmars 11:46 into the opening period. Osmars, with assists from Anthon Pellarin and Anders Olson, took advance of a bouncing puck in front to beat Army goalie Josh Kassel.
The Black Knights responded nearly a minute later when Manthey notched his first goal of the game. Hollweg passed the puck to the point, where Casey Bickley pushed it along the blueline to Manthey for a power-play goal to even the score at 1.
Army came out strong in the second period and registered four more tallies to push its lead to 5-1 heading into the final stanza.
Manthey’s second power-play goal of the contest got the ball rolling, as he scored on a play similar to his first goal, but this time the assists came from Bickley and Zach McKelvie.
Hollweg’s first goal of the night extended the lead to 3-1 with 15 minutes left in the second. Luke Flicek corralled a loose puck at center ice and passed it to Owen Meyer, Meyer then found a streaking Hollweg and Hollweg beat Bentley goalie Ray Jean on the short side for the lamp lighter.
Lyle Gal and Jeff Fearing tallied goals of their own to finish the second session. Gal intercepted a pass at center ice, passed it to Fearing and Fearing gave it right back for Gal, who blasted a shot that trickled through Jean’s legs.
Fearing recorded his goal in the final minutes of the period when Ken Rowe passed the puck to Ian McDougall, McDougall then skated behind the net and found Fearing alone in front for the Black Knight’s fifth unanswered goal of the night.
The Falcons came out in the third and cut the deficit to 5-2 when Dain Prewitt scored an unassisted goal after forcing an Army turnover.
Hollweg’s second tally of the night came with 1:53 left in the contest. Bentley had pulled its goalie, but Hollweg intercepted a pass at center ice, quickly turned and shot it on net for a shorthanded empty-netter.
Kassel was once again solid between the pipes for Army with 30 saves, his fifth 30-plus save effort of the season, to improve to 17-10-4 this season. Jean finished with 30 stops for the Falcons.
The Black Knights went 2-for-11 on the power play. Bentley was held scoreless on its eight power-play chances.
Army will make its first-ever AHA semifinal appearance next Friday when it takes on Connecticut at the Blue Cross Arena at 7:30 p.m.