MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — All good things must come to an end.
And so it was with the goaltender’s duel between Robert Morris’ Dalton Izyk and Bentley’s Jayson Argue.
The two netminders combined for 74 saves on the night as Robert Morris broke open a scoreless tie late in the third period with three unanswered goals en route to a 3-0 victory over visiting Bentley.
“We stuck with the process tonight,” Colonials’ coach Derek Schooley said. “When things aren’t going your way, sometimes you tend to get away from what made you successful. We had the advantage in scoring chances, but things just weren’t going in the net. We just needed that one to break through and our guys stuck with it and didn’t get frustrated and that was the key to the game.”
The first frame saw the Colonials come out of the gate flying, generating scoring chances consistently, amassing a 16-10 shot advantage. But for all the pressure, the puck never managed to find a way past Argue, who made saves look easy for the majority of the game.
As the second period opened, the Falcons steadily gained more confidence with every shift. Bentley began to test Izyk as the period progressed and he responded with a brilliant save on Brett Switzer, who almost beat the sliding Izyk with a shot from close range. But the Robert Morris attack was also kept at bay through 40 minutes.
The saves continued well into the third as Argue stopped Cody Wydo on a breakaway just after a Falcons’ power play had expired. Then Izyk took his turn stopping a 2-on-1 that seemed destined for the back of the net just moments later with a skate save on Andrew Gladiuk.
The Colonials had been in their fair share of frustrating games in the recent past and had come out on the short end of things as evidenced by their three-game winless streak. But on this night, they stayed the course and kept to their game plan, and their patience was rewarded.
At 14:33 of the third period, Greg Gibson took the puck around a Bentley defender in the neutral zone with speed, and flew down the right wing boards where he centered a near-perfect centering pass that Brandon Denham tipped past Argue for the eventual game-winning goal.
Then just moments later while on their fourth power play of the night, the Colonials took control of the game with a David Friedmann goal at 17:42. Zac Lynch then iced the contest with his eighth goal of the season when he won a race in the neutral zone and sent a shot into the empty net.
“We were coming off a four week gap since the last time we played, so it took us a while to get our legs underneath us,” said Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist. “But I thought we responded well in the second and third and unfortunately, we weren’t able to convert and score any goals. We probably need to work a little bit harder tomorrow night. We only had two power plays and I’d have liked to see us earn more, but I thought our goaltender was very good tonight and our penalty kill was, too.”