With eight different players finding the back of the net, The UMass Lowell River Hawks ran past the University of New Hampshire Wildcats this weekend, 5-3 on Friday and 3-2 (OT) on Saturday.
On Friday, the Wildcats registered the first point of the game at the 6:06 mark of the first period when Trevor van Riemsdyk beat River Hawks netminder Connor Hellebuyck through the five-hole. However, River Hawks Captain Josh Holmstrom tied the game just over two minutes later to rally the bench and set the tone for the come-back.
The ‘Hawks extended their lead when Adam Chapie took a pass from Scott Wilson at the 11-minute mark in the second period to make the score 2-1. Blue-liner Jake Suter scored his first goal of the season and second goal of his career just over two minutes later after a one-timer had eyes for the back of the net behind UNH goaltender Casey DeSmith. The period ended 3-1 in the River Hawks’ favor.
Kevin Goumas of UNH narrowed Lowell’s lead at 17:22 in the third period, making the score 3-2. But at 11:52, Lowell’s Ryan McGrath got a beautiful breakaway after poking the puck away from a WildCat D-man; he tip-toed in on DeSmith and back-handed the puck into the net.
Penguins draft pick Scott Wilson notched his first goal of the year for the River Hawks 23 seconds later, giving Lowell the 5-2 lead. With 19 seconds left in the contest, UNH forward Nick Sorkin put a puck behind Hellebuyck to make the final score 5-3.
“It’s great to get the two points and be on a bit of a roll right now,” Wilson said.
On Saturday, River Hawks Head Coach Norm Bazin gave goaltender Doug Carr the nod, as he started in net in the Wildcats’ barn in Durham, N.H.
The back-and-forth contest ended in overtime with Derek Arnold netting the game-winning goal behind DeSmith.
“I saw a ton of room, and I had to take the shot,” Arnold said. “I got it elevated, and it was lucky to go post and in.”
After a slow start to the game and a scoreless first period, Wildcat Brett Pesce registered the first goal of the game at 10:28 in the second period. River Hawk Joseph Pendenza would then tie the game after capitalizing on the man advantage. Just over two minutes later, Lowell took the lead after defenseman Christian Folin shot a rocket with eyes for the back of the net past DeSmith. The period ended with the River Hawks leading 2-1.
The Wildcats battled back when they found themselves on the power play in the third period when Holmstrom was sent to the box. With DeSmith pulled for the extra attacker, Grayson Downing tied the game with just over a minute to go in regulation. Time expired and the game went to overtime.
In overtime, the ‘Hawks found themselves on the penalty kill again after Holmstrom was called for roughing. After surviving the penalty, Lowell found themselves on the man advantage after a holding call on Trevor van Reimsdyk. Arnold capitalized after a pass from D-man Zack Kamrass, who got assists on all three of Lowell’s goals on Saturday.
Overall Bazin was proud of the way the River Hawks played this weekend.
“It was a great weekend,” he said. “Whenever you can pick up points against a quality opponent like UNH, you’ve got to be very pleased. It wasn’t a work of art, but we plugged through the first period, and I thought we got better as the game went along. Both the penalty kill and the power play were big factors this weekend.”