MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Robert Morris found some third-period magic Friday, with Denny Urban scoring the tying goal in the waning minutes of a 2-2 tie with Bentley at the Island Sports Center.
“I thought we were excellent in the first period,” Colonials coach Derek Schooley said. “I thought, for having a week off, that the way we played in the second would be how we started off in the first. But we put ourselves in holes and have to expend too much energy coming back.
“I don’t think we were very smart in taking care of the puck tonight. I give Bentley a lot of credit; they came out and really took it to us.”
Urban scored a power-play goal with 2:13 remaining to complete the Colonials’ comeback from a 2-0 deficit.
The Falcons were a presence in all three zones, getting to loose pucks first and giving the Colonials precious little time to make decisions with the puck as well for most of the evening.
The Colonials outshot the Falcons 14-7 in the first period and had several close chances that missed by mere inches, but the Falcons withstood the good Colonials start and ended the period on a high note with a timely goal from forward Jeremy Robert, who snuck a deceptive shot past Robert Morris goaltender Brooks Ostergard at 18:37.
Bentley wasted little time adding to its early lead when it capitalized on a Colonials line change that opened the door for a odd-man break. Falcons captain Dustin Cloutier made the most of the opportunity when he slid a perfect pass to Trent Bonnet, who put the puck into an open cage, doubling the Falcons lead at 57 seconds of the second.
From there, the Falcons kept the Colonials from generating any type of offensive rhythm, creating one turnover after another.
While Bentley outworked the Colonials for most of the second period, the Falcons penalty kill was something to behold as well, clogging passing lanes and blocking shots at will. It was a formula they would ultimately use to help preserve the tie later on.
Colonials forward Nathan Longpre got his team on the board with a power-play goal at 18:41 of the second to cut the Falcons lead in half.
And then the stage was set for yet another third period Colonials comeback, which would have to overcome a slew of penalties, including three straight minors. The Colonials penalty kill rose to the occasion and gave the Falcons very little in the way of zone time.
As the third period progressed, the intensity of the hitting skyrocketed, with bone-crunching hits on every shift in escalating fashion. However, with all the penalty killing taking place, the Colonials found it difficult to get to any kind of offensive flow and with time winding down, it began to look as if the game was going to belong to the Falcons.
But at 17:05 of the third, Falcon defenseman Mike Switzer was given a game misconduct for checking from behind. The resulting major penalty proved to be the backbreaker for the Falcons with Urban’s goal.
Then at 19:43, the Falcons were called for another major penalty when Ryan Kayfes was given a game misconduct for contact to the head, a penalty that carried over to the overtime period.
Bentley put forth a strong effort killing the ensuing five-on-three power play, limiting the Colonials to the perimeter and blocking shots left and right, as they spent the bulk of the last eight minutes of the contest shorthanded.
“Our guys fought hard and they deserved better,” Falcons coach Ryan Soderquist said. “Unfortunately, we took some selfish penalties. I thought we played systematically, very well tonight.”