Bentley defeats No. 20 Air Force, 4-1
Feb. 14, 2009
WATERTOWN, Mass. - Dustin Cloutier scored two power-play goals to lead Bentley to a 4-1 win over No. 20 Air Force in an Atlantic Hockey Association game Saturday, Feb. 14, at the John A. Ryan Arena in Watertown, Mass.
With the series split, Air Force fell to 20-8-2 overall and 17-5-2 in the league. Bentley improved to 16-13-1 overall and 14-9-1 in the league. Air Force fell to second place in the AHA, one point behind RIT. Bentley is tied for third in the AHA.
Jacques Lamoureux's second of the series and 25th of the season came just 13 seconds into the first period and gave the Falcons a quick lead. Brent Olson and Greg Flynn assisted on the play. Air Force controlled the play for the next few minutes, however, Bentley took the momentum back. Bobby Preece scored at 7:28 from Jeff Gumaer and Anthony Canzoneri. Then, 37 seconds later, Bentley was on a 4-on-3 power play and Dustin Cloutier scored his 13th of the season from Gumaer and Casey Russell. AFA outshot Bentley, 7-6, in the opening period, but it was the home team that controlled play in the latter half of the first period.
Another power play goal midway through the second period gave Bentley a 3-1 lead. Just eight seconds after a tripping penalty on Michael Mayra, Bentley capitalized and took a 3-1 lead. Cloutier scored his second of the game when a centering pass went across the top of the crease and the team's leading goal scorer found the back of the net from the weakside.
Late in the second period, a five-minute major for slashing was called on Bentley's Mike Switzer. The penalty carried over into the third period but the Falcons were unable to convert. Bentley goalie Kyle Rank made three saves early in the third period to maintain the two-goal lead. Air Force pulled goaltender Andrew Volkening in the final three minutes, but it was Bentley that iced the game with an empty-net goal by Dain Prewitt.
"Bentley is a legit top four team in our league," head coach Frank Serratore. "They competed so dang hard tonight. In some ways we were better tonight. But they converted two power play goals and we didn't get anything on the power play. They will be a tough out in the playoffs. I thought we were soft in the first period and they dictated the style of play. I challenged our guys between periods and I thought we competed very well in the second period. However, we got destroyed on faceoffs in the whole series. On both of their power play goals, they won faceoffs in our defensive zone and that led to goals. They are a very good hockey team, but we have to get these points on the road. We are in contention for a regular season title and by not getting these points, we fell a point behind RIT. I love the way they play and compete, but we didn't get it done. Their special teams were better than ours and that was the difference."
Air Force returns home for the final regular-season series of the season, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 20-21, vs. Holy Cross. The faceoff is at 7:05 MT each night at the Cadet Ice Arena.