Canisius’ men’s hockey team was eliminated from the Atlantic Hockey playoffs after a 5-3 loss to Bentley at the Bentley Ice Arena on Saturday night.
The ninth-seeded Golden Griffins battled back from two deficits but gave up a pair of goals in the last two minutes of regulation.
Lee Lapid, Matt Hoover and Nick Hutchison each scored for Canisius, which finishes the season at 10-20-6-0 overall and 9-14-6-0-3 in conference play.
Jonathan Desbiens netted what would be the game-winning goal for the No. 8 Falcons (17-16-3 overall). He scored on a power play with 1:26 to play, breaking a 3-3 tie.
Ryner Gorowsky had a hat trick for Bentley and Matt Lombardozzi also scored to round out the Falcons’ offense.
Bentley opened the scoring 9:28 into the opening period on Lombardozzi’s goal, a one-timer over the middle.
The Falcons quickly doubled the lead two minutes later on Gorowsky’s first goal of the night.
Unlike Friday’s blowout, Canisius was able to stop the bleeding and cut the lead in half. The Griffs took advantage of a five-minute major on Bentley as Lapid redirected a pass from Hutchison into the net.
Hoover tied the game from the left side with eight minutes left in the second period. However, Canisius couldn’t take a lead, and Bentley went up 3-2 with seconds left in the second.
Again, the Griffs fought back to a tie. Hutchinson tapped in a pass from Grant Meyer and knotted the game at three goals each early in the final period.
Overtime was looming as Bentley went on another power play late in the third. Interference was called on Canisius, and the Falcons took advantage of the man advantage.
Desbiens finished off a ricochet for a 4-3 Falcons lead. Canisius coach Trevor Large pulled his goalie but it was too late.
The Falcons added an empty-net goal and completed the opening round victory.