WATERTOWN, Mass. – The Sacred Heart men's hockey team had its six-game unbeaten streak snapped on Friday night with a 3-1 loss to the Bentley Falcons at John A. Ryan Skating Arena.
Bentley (16-11-3, 14-7-3 AHC) almost scored twice in the first 2:30 Friday night. Alex Vazzano (Trumbull, Conn.) made a dazzling glove save to rob Brett Switzer with 17:44 to play in the first period. Seven seconds later, Vazzano used the blocker to stop a Matt Sieckhaus shot. Sacred Heart (9-16-6, 8-11-6 AHC) had its first shot on goal with 16:16 to play in the first when a Drew George (Regina, Sask.) deflection was stopped by Jayson Argue. The Falcons went on the power play with 15:27 left in the first, and were held to two shots on goal.
The Pioneers came close to breaking open the scoring with 10:32 to play in the first period when Justin Danforth (Oshawa, Ont.) put a shot off Argue's blocker. Kory Kennedy had a shot on the breakaway stopped with less than seven minutes left in the period. Bentley went ahead 1-0 with 4:11 to play in the first when Switzer crashed the net to send home the rebound of an Alex Grieve shot. Sacred Heart went on the power play with 0:34 left in the period, but didn't score before time ran out on the first. Bentley outshot the Pioneers 12-8 in the opening period.
Sacred Heart had two chances on the overlapping power play to start the second period. Jordan Minello (Sweaburg, Ont.) had a shot saved by Argue, followed by an Alec Butcher (Anchorage, Alaska) wraparound that went wide of goal. The Pioneers went back on the power play with 18:26 remaining in the second period, but didn't have a shot on goal to stay behind 1-0. Bentley nearly went ahead 2-0 with 16:09 remaining when Sieckhaus, on a two-on-one rush, forced Vazzano to make a sprawling save. The Pioneers tied the game with 8:59 remaining in the second period. Zach Luczyk (Charlton, Mass.) found George in the slot, who let loose a laser right past Argue and into the net to make the score 1-1. The Pioneers outshot the Falcons 13-8 in the second, taking the tie score into the third period.
Both Argue and Vazzano were tested early in the third period. Argue made back-to-back saves on Minello and Erlich Doerksen (Toronto, Ont.) three minutes in. Vazzano had to make a tough glove save on a Kyle O'Brien shot with 13:25 to play in regulation. He then made another save on Chris Buchanan with 9:24 remaining. Bentley broke through to take a 2-1 lead with 8:00 to play in the third. Steve Weinstein fired a shot from the blueline cross-ice and past Vazzano's glove, getting assists from Matt Maher and Andrew Gladiuk. The Falcons' defense put the clamps down on the Pioneers late, and tacked on a power play goal with 3:21 to play to make the final score 3-1.
Bentley outshot Sacred Heart 33-31 for the game and was 1-for-4 on the power play. The Pioneers went scoreless on five power plays. Both Vazzano and Argue made 30 saves.
The Pioneers open a home-and-home series with Holy Cross next Friday, Feb. 20 at Milford Ice Pavilion at 7:05 p.m.