NEVILLE TWP., Pa. — The Bentley Falcons, determined and physical from the drop of the puck, maintained a high battle level for 60 minutes on Friday night en-route to a 5-2 victory over the Robert Morris Colonials. Ryan Gorowsky and Luke Santerno provided the offense for Bentley, each managing a three point night while junior goaltender Aidan Pelino was impressive, stopping 21-of-23 of Colonials shots in the win. The Falcons moved to within four points of the Colonials in the Atlantic Hockey standings with the victory.
The strong effort from the Falcons was not matched by a Colonials side that was playing less than inspired hockey, as evidenced by over twenty turnovers.
“I don’t understand how we can come out and not be ready to play hockey,” Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley said. “We were not ready. I wouldn’t say we weren’t prepared- we were prepared, we talked about playing with energy, we worked on compete level all through the week and we came out and were just flat.”
FALCONS CAPITALIZE ON CHANCES
Santerno got Bentley on the board at 8:15 of the first frame when he placed a one-timer past starting Colonials net-minder Francis Marotte, followed by senior Drew Callin at 7:30 of the second period. Gorowsky netted the next two goals on the score sheet. The Falcons capitalized on every good look- and did so at even or less strength on all five of their goals.
In between Gorowsky’s goals Marotte was replaced by Dyllan Lubbesmeyer. The sophomore stopped 18-of-19 Falcons shots in a solid relief performance.
“Hey stabilized the game,” Schooley said of the move to insert Lubbesmeyer in net. “This was not on Francis Marotte at all, this was on the team, they weren’t performing in front of him and I was not going to let him take the beating that they were providing him.”
TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
Just when it looked as if the Falcons might take game one of the weekend set without a fight, the Colonials found some late offensive magic. Defenseman Nick Jenny put a puck past Pelino through traffic at 16:23 of the third period, then, less than a minute later, Sean Giles lit the lamp for the first time in his career at Robert Morris.
The Colonial net was empty following their second goal and over three minutes remained for a potential game tying situation. However, Connor Brassard managed a relatively easy empty net goal less than a minute later to ice the result for the Falcons.
“I think internally our compete level wasn’t high enough,” Colonial defenseman Sean Giles said. “I think we definitely have to come out harder. It’s just the mentality starting with how we prepare for the game, we just have to be focused and ready to go the whole time. We need to find the right balance of playing hard and playing comfortable, that way we can make skilled plays but still be the more skilled and aggressive team.”
The Colonials record falls to 8-12-1 on the year, finding themselves in the middle of the Atlantic Hockey standings with 13 conference games remaining.
“The score was not indicative of what it really was,” added Schooley “5-2 is kind; it could have been a lot worse. “We’ve got to figure it out in a hurry, it’s getting frustrating that we’re at this point. Our skilled guys need to be harder to play against, and our energy guys need to provide energy.”
The Falcons and Colonials will finish up their weekend series on Saturday night at Colonials Arena with a 4;05 pm puck drop.