The Bentley University Falcons went five-for-seven on the power play and defeated the Canisius College Golden Griffins 8-3 at the Amherst Pepsi Center Friday night.
Sophomore Dustin Cloutier scored an all power-play hat trick and added two assists for a career-high five points and five other players had multipoint nights for the Falcons.
“I wasn’t producing as much as I liked to this season, but it was good to get that monkey off my back,” Cloutier said. “The team played very well. We talked before the game that we had to play simple, smart hockey.”
Canisius freshman Dave Kostuch also had a multi-point night, scoring two of the three Griffins goals on the power play.
The Griffins opened the scoring on a power play just 1:02 into the game. Kostuch’s low shot from the right circle got past goaltender Joe Calvi for the 1-0 lead.
However, Bentley answered back six minutes later and never looked back.
Cloutier scored the first of his three goals at 7:38 of the first. He took a pass from Marc Menzione and one-timed it, beating Canisius goaltender Andrew Loewen on a power play.
The Falcons scored three more goals in less than five minutes in the first period.
Aaron Stonacek’s shot from the right side of the net hit the shaft of Loewen’s stick before going into the net. After 13 seconds of four-on-four play, Canisius returned to full strength just before the puck crossed the line, making it a short-handed goal for the Falcons.
Marc Menzione got his first of the night on a power play at 16:31. As he received the puck in front of the crease, Loewen dove to his right and Menzione skated to the side and roofed the puck into the net.
Cloutier got his second of the night at 18:11, giving the Falcons a 4-1 lead going into the first intermission.
He completed the hat trick at 5:18 of the second period. as his high shot from between the circles beat back-up goalie Dan Morrison.
“Our power play carried us tonight,” Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist said. “It’s something that we had been struggling on. We allowed them to turn over the puck. We were allowing them to make mistakes and then we capitalized.”
The first even strength goal of the night came at 9:29 of the second. Morrison had come out near the boards ten feet from the blue line to play the puck, but the Falcons gained possession. The Canisius defense helped keep the puck from going into the net as Morrison got back into position, but seconds later Justin Kemmerer put the puck into the net.
Canisius captain Peter MacDougall scored at 17:04 after he got into the zone behind the Falcons defender and netted his second of the season.
Kostuch scored his second of the game for Canisius at 5:31 of the third on a five-on-three. His shot from the right face-off circle hit the top-corner of the net.
The Falconsâ€™ Aaron Stonacekâ€™s second of the night ended the scoring at 13:26 of the third period.
Canisius did have near-misses before and after the game got away from them. A shot got through Calvi minutes after the first Canisius goal and sat on the goal line, but the Griffins could not get to the loose puck to put it in. Two other opportunities rang off the crossbar. The Griffins also had several short-handed chances in the second period, but the Falcons defense weakened the shots.
“We got better as the game went on,” Canisius coach Dave Smith said. “We had guts and we’re a proud group. You didn’t see our best hockey tonight. We just kept challenging to get our game back so we can instill some confidence and be ready to get the two points tomorrow.”
Canisius went two-for-nine on the power play, including a five-on-three goal at 5:31 of the third period.
Calvi ended the game with 25 saves. All three goaltenders saw action for the Griffins, and they combined for 31 saves. Andrew Loewen received the loss.
“After a win like tonight, our biggest goal is to get the guys refocused and remember it’s a new game and play 20 minutes in the first period tomorrow,” Soderquist said.
The two teams meet for the fourth and final time Saturday night at 7:05 and Bentley (7-10-1 overall) can sweep the season series with a win. The Griffins fall to 7-7-4 overall and 5-5-2 in Atlantic Hockey action.