WATERTOWN, Mass. - Air Force and Bentley skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Dec. 8 at the John A. Ryan Arena in Watertown, Mass. Air Force took three points in the series and is now unbeaten in the last three games. Air Force enters the holiday break with a 5-7-4 overall record, 4-4-2 in the league. Bentley is 6-8-1 overall and 5-5-1 in the AHA.
In a fast-paced first period, Air Force struck first as Stephen Carew scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season, and third of the series, at the 5:08 mark. Alex Halloran started the rush in his own end and Cole Gunner skated the puck into the zone on the left side and sent the puck across to Carew in the right circle. His shot was originally stopped by goalie Blake Dougherty, but Dougherty dropped the puck and it slid into the goal. Bentley answered 35 seconds later on the rush. Matt Maher made an outlet pass to Brett Gensler who was alone on the right side. Gensler skated into the zone and fired a slap shot for his 10th goal of the season. Gensler leads the nation in scoring with 25 points in 15 games.
Air Force regained the lead midway through the second period. Chad Demers won a faceoff in the offensive zone and senior defenseman Mike Walsh pounded a slap shot through traffic for his first goal of the season at the 9:02 mark. Bentley again answered five minutes later in a 4-on-4 situation. Andrew Fitzstephens kept the puck in the zone and send it down low. Gensler touched the puck over to Jared Rickord on the weak side who netted his fourth of the season.
Neither team scored in the third period and the game went into overtime. With 24 seconds left in the third, a penalty was called on Air Force forward Chad Demers. Bentley started the overtime period with 1:36 left on the power play and took three shots on goal. The Falcons killed the penalty and then AFA had a flurry in front of the Bentley goal as Carew and Demers were down low. Bentley had five shots on goal in overtime while Air Force had one.
Bentley outshot Air Force, 36-30, in the game. AFA was 0-for-3 on the power play while Bentley was 0-for-4. Jason Torf made 34 saves for Air Force while Blake Dougherty made 28 for Bentley.
"We played with great energy and spirit all weekend," head coach Frank Serratore said. "I'll take three of four points anytime and the road and I'm satisfied with that. We played hard, but were careless with the puck at times late in the game and you just can't do that."
Air Force is now idle until Dec. 29-30 when the Falcons travel to the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. Air Force will face fourth-ranked Minnesota on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 7:05 p.m. CT. AFA when then play Alabama-Huntsville on Sunday, Dec. 30, at 4:05 p.m. CT in the second game of the Mariucci Classic. --30--