WALTHAM, MASS — Willie Reim scored the game-winner in overtime as Air Force earned its first win of the season, 4-3 over Bentley, in an Atlantic Hockey Association game, Monday, Feb. 1, at the Bentley Ice Arena in Waltham, Mass.
Air Force (1-9-1, 1-9-1 AHA) opened the scoring in the first five minutes of the game. Shawn Knowlton carried a puck off the half boards to the front of the net and Thomas Daskas scored on the rebound at 4:27. Less than a minute later, Bentley tied the game after a turnover in the Air Force end. Drew Bavaro set up Luke Santerno in front at 5:34.
The Falcons took a 2-1 lead early in the third period. Bentley goalie Fraser Kirk misplayed a puck behind his own net. Blake Bride took it away and tucked it inside the post at 1:09. Bentley scored the next two goals for a 3-2 lead midway through the third period. Brendan Hamblet tied the game at 8:58 and then Matt Gosiewski scored on the power play at 10:10. Air Force answered as the fourth line tied the game at 11:01. Alex Mehnert sent a puck in front and Brian Adams’ shot was saved. Ty Pochipinski put back the rebound for his first of the season. Air Force killed a penalty late in the third as the game headed to overtime, Air Force’s third of the season.
In the overtime session, Daskas had a shot that was saved and then Schilling stopped Drew Bavaro on a mini-breakaway. With 1:46 left in the 3-on-3 overtime, Willie Reim carried the puck down the left side, cut to the front of the net and scored the third game-winner of his career.
“It’s been a tough go,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “Getting our first win is more relief than joy. There is just no substitute for winning. Being ahead and then giving up the lead and falling behind 3-2 in the third, many young teams would have given up. Not our guys. They stuck together, battled and found a way to get it done. Alex Schilling was the best player on the ice. He made some big-time saves for us.”
Air Force outshot Bentley, 37-27. AF was 0-for-4 while Bentley (3-6-0, 3-6-0 AHA) was 1-for-4. Schilling made 24 saves for the Falcons while Fraser Kirk made 33 for Bentley.
Air Force’s scheduled series at Holy Cross, Feb. 5-6, has been postponed as the Crusaders have paused all hockey activities due to COVID protocols.