Pittsburgh Hockey Digest


Falcons Top Colonials 3-0; Grabko Stops 29 Shots in Shutout

Photo courtesy of RMU Athletics

NEVILLE TWP.,Pa- The Bentley Falcons were determined not to leave Clearview Arena empty handed on the weekend as they used some opportunistic scoring, solid goaltending and puck management and a perfect penalty kill in the recipe for their 3-0  win versus the homestanding Robert Morris Colonials on Saturday afternoon.  The Falcons seemingly had their way with the puck and the territory on the ice as they once again held the advantage in shot disparity and stifled the Colonial attack for the better part of 60 minutes, keeping scoring chances to a minimum while not allowing their opponent to sense any type of momentum. Chad Veltri was solid in the Colonial net once again, stopping 36 of 39 shots faced, but at the end of 60 minutes, Robert Morris couldn’t come up with a way to solve Bentley netminder Nicholas Grabko who stopped all 29 shots sent his way.

“We were better,” Colonials head coach Derek Schooley said contrasting his team’s performances on the weekend. “We did some things better but at times they pinned us in our own end and any breakdown we had they seemed to capitalize on. Our passing needs to improve. We had a lot of self inflicted passing mistakes.”

Second Period of Horrors for Colonials

The middle stanza became more or less a period of horrors for Robert Morris on the weekend once again as the Falcons turned the game decidedly in their favor.  Unlike Friday night, the Colonials kept the Falcon shot total in check, allowing only 12 pucks on net in the second frame. However, Bentley put their opportunistic scoring by committee plan to work with a pair of goals after the halfway point that seemed to take some starch out of the Colonial attack. Nick Bochen got the last touch on a puck that ricocheted past starting Colonial goaltender Chad Veltri at 10:30 to put the Falcons out front 1-0. Then just over three minutes later, an open Ryan Mansfield put his shot in the net to double the Bentley lead at 13:38. The Colonials did find themselves with three power play opportunities in the period, but failed to convert, winding up going 0 for 6 for the game with the man advantage.

“Their first goal hits Cade Townend in the head and goes in the net and you chase the game from there,” Schooley added. “We shot ourselves in the foot on a few power plays tonight because we didn’t catch passes very well

Early Third Period Tally Puts Game out of Reach 

Robert Morris had been no stranger to third period comebacks as in their two previous games, two quick strikes in the third frame led their way to points in the standings. However, it was the Falcons who struck early in the third when A.J. Hodges beat Veltri clean from the right circle to put his side firmly in the drivers seat as time wound down.  The Colonials did muster a few solid chances over the final 10 minutes, but it was too little, too late as Grabko turned them all aside to preserve the shutout and earn Bentley a weekend road split.

“We’ll use this week to work on skill development and system development and make sure we’re better moving forward,” Schooley remarked.

Robert Morris will next host Simon Fraser University on Saturday, November 4 in an exhibition game with puck drop scheduled for 7 PM.

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