River Hawks Start Fast, Finish Faster
LOWELL -- The UMass Lowell hockey team squandered a 3-0 lead but came roaring back to knock off Hockey East rival Merrimack College, 6-3, before 4,749 fans at the Tsongas Center on Friday night.
UML 6, Warriors 3
With the win Lowell moved into sole possession of second place in Hockey East at 12-6-2, trailing only UMass.
Perhaps it was the effects of a lost weekend against Providence. Perhaps it was the effect of being tied for second with Providence with Northeastern just one point behind. Regardless, the River Hawks came out hot and put on a display of offense by netting 3 goals on 10 shots in the first period.
Lowell broke the scoring ice at 5:59 of the first period as Charlie Levesque tipped in a power-play goal past Warriors netminder Logan Halladay on a pass from Chase Blackmun. Reid Stefanson also got an assist.
At 9:10 the River Hawks doubled their lead on a shot from the left faceoff circle by Lucas Condotta, his 4th goal of the year. His linemate Colin O’Neill and defenseman Jon McDonald each had an assist.
The third goal came at 14:04 of the first period with a blast from inside the blue line by Blackmun. Assists were given to right wing Kenny Hausinger and center Connor Sodergren.
The Warriors switched goalies to start the second period, Craig Pantano replacing Logan Halladay. And Merrimack wasted no time getting on the scoreboard.
Sodergren (Tewksbury) went off for interference 9 seconds into the stanza and it took 5 more seconds for a Warrior goal. Sami Tavernier snapped in a pass off a faceoff won by Derek Patti (Tewksbury) at 0:14 of the middle period. Patti scored at 1:32 of the middle frame on assists from Dominic Dockery and Alex Carle, a partial breakaway that eluded UML goalie Tyler Wall and narrowed the deficit to one.
One minute and ten seconds later the game was tied.
The Warriors’ third line center Patrick Kramer snapped in a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle, his sixth goal of the season. Assists were earned by Logan Drevitch and Jordan Seyfert. That made the score 3-3 and the Warriors had scored on three consecutive shots.
After Merrimack’s Patti was sent off for interference at 14:24 of the period, the River Hawks sent 8 blistering shots at goalie Pantano before they lit the lamp.
Blackmun had a close in shot that was saved but the rebound went onto the stick of Stefanson, who snapped home his seventh goal of the season. Connor Wilson was also given an assist at 15:41.
In the period the River Hawks put 22 shots on goal while the Warriors were able to get only 7.
Lowell got an insurance goal at 1:24 of the third period. Ryan Lohin rifled a shot from the left side for his 12th goal of the year. Assists were handed out to both his linemates, Stefanson (3-point game) and Levesque.
The River Hawks doubled the margin to 6-3 at 8:57 of the third. Nick Master picked up a loose rebound on the right side and snapped home his fourth goal of the year. Helpers were given to both Ryan Dmowski and rear guard Mattias Goransson.
Final shots on the game heavily favored the River Hawks at 45-20.
Merrimack has already been eliminated from the playoffs and stands now at 4-16-1 in the league. The same teams return to the ice Saturday night in North Andover.