Friday night’s loss against the Northeastern Huskies was the River Hawks’ third loss in a row after their seven-game win streak. (Christina Laderoute/Connector)
The defeat at the hands of Northeastern University Friday night came in a short, electric burst from the Huskies who rallied back from a 3-1 deficit to win by one with just under 17 seconds left in regulation.
“We were patient. We were resilient… we just kept with the process… it was a great team effort from one through twenty-one guys on the bench there tonight,” said Northeastern Head Coach Jim Madigan.
The loss brought the River Hawks to a 15-8-3 regular season record with a 7-6-1 in Hockey East conference play. The Huskies, however, managed to bring their regular season record up to .500 with 10 regulation wins and losses in the books.The game began with a steady pace. Several solid scoring chances found their way to the back board on both sides of the ice.
Senior defenseman Dylan Zink found himself on the scoresheet twice, with assists in the first and second periods.
The first came by way of freshman forward Ryan Lohin who put the River Hawks on the board for his 5th goal of the season, with help from Zink and junior defenseman Chris Forney on the power play. Despite countless scoring chances Lohin’s shot was the only one to find the back of the net in the opening period of play.
The second goal came on the power play, with UMass Lowell up a man after Huskies’ senior forward Tanner Pond got the gate for hooking. The result was another strong odd-man situation that lead to River Hawk Jake Kamrass scoring on the rebound, assisted by Zink and sophomore forward Connor Wilson.
Northeastern answered late in the period when UMass Lowell alternate captain Joe Gambardella took two-minute minor for holding. Grant Jozefek netted the loose puck out front, scoring his first goal of the season, assisted by forwards Matt Filipe and Ryan Shea.
The remainder of the period seemed to be in the River Hawks’control, but they were unable to put another past sophomore Ryan Ruck who stopped six key shots on the period, aided in part by the crossbar, which robbed the River Hawks of another opportunity to increase the lead. The second period ended with UMass Lowell up 2-1.
The bulk of the scoring, however, came in the final period.
Midway through the third period junior forward John Edwardh added to the River Hawk lead with yet another power play goal. Assisted by freshman defenseman Mattias Göransson and senior forward Joe Gambardella, Edwardh followed up on his rebound, sneaking the third shot past Ruck; making the game 3-1.
The lead did not last.
“Even when we fell back down by two there we just kept with the process. They believed in the process, and I couldn’t be more pleased for the kids to get the result they did… [Dylan Sikura]’s really good around the net, and he scored three goals for us,” said Coach Madigan.
The remainder of the third period of play found one name hogging the scoresheet. Junior forward Dylan Sikura. Sikura tied up the game with two goals in two minutes. Both were assisted by junior defenseman Garret Cockerill. Sophomore forward Adam Gaudette would also receive the helper on the second goal, which brought River Hawks’ head coach Norm Bazin to pull freshman goaltender Garrett Metcalf in favor of fellow freshman Tyler Wall.
Gaudette and Sikura did not quit upon tying the game at 3. Their next shift Gaudette’s effort to wave an icing lead to Sikura netting the third goal the game winner, and the third goal in a natural hat-trick, on a wrap around with mere seconds to go in regulation.
“Every time I get out there I’m trying to score a goal for us. I think at the end there it’s defense first, and if we get the opportunity, to put it in the back of the net,” said Sikura in the post-game.
Following the loss to Northeastern, UMass Lowell will set their sights on reviewing the tape for a Saturday night game against the Boston University Terriers at Agganis Arena. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.