(Photo courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics) “River Hawks players celebrate win over Providence College.”
After coming off an easy weekend with a victory over the University of Maine, the River Hawks were back at it again this weekend. This time, their weekend would start away from home as they traveled to Providence, Rhode Island and took on the Providence Friars on Friday Night.
1st Period: The game started off smoothly for both netminders, as neither offense could find the back of the net or get any early momentum early. Both River Hawks goaltender Henry Welsch and Providence goaltender Phillip Svedeback kept the net well-tended to and ensured that the first period ended with both teams remaining scoreless in the smallest state in the country.
2nd Period: For most this period, the dominance continued in the crease for both teams, ensuring the game remained scoreless. However, things changed when Providence forward Brett Berard finally broke through on the power play, giving the Friars a 1-0 lead. However, the River Hawks would answer in due time, as forward Nick Rhéaume tied the game for UMass Lowell, keeping the game tightly fought, making the third period an all-important affair between both teams, with three important points on the line.
3rd Period: The narrative continued to be displayed, with both Welsch and Svedeback showing why they are valuable netminders to their respective teams, making save after save, ensuring the game remained tied. But again, Providence would find the back of the net, as forward Parker Ford broke the tie, giving the Friars a 2-1 lead. In what Friars fans thought would be the end of the game, UMass Lowell would not go down so easily, as forward Filip Fornåå Svensson tied the game with just under a minute to go, sending this very close game into sudden death overtime.
Overtime: Both teams knew that the game had to end in overtime, so both teams went all out and gave it their best efforts. Unfortunately for River Hawks fans, it would not go their way, as forward Chase Yoder won the game for the Friars in overtime by a score of 3-2.
It was a tough loss for the River Hawks on the road to start the weekend. Going into the second half of the home-and-home series, the River Hawks knew that in order to make the NCAA tournament, they needed to beat Providence on home ice to keep those hopes alive. So, on Saturday Night, the River Hawks welcomed the Friars to town, looking for those very important 3 points needed to keep playoff hopes alive.
1st Period: Much like the night before in the overtime loss, UMass Lowell’s goaltending was spectacular, with goaltender Gustavs Grigals ensuring every Friar shot was met by the Latvian wall. Despite brilliant goaltending from both Grigals and Svedeback, UMass Lowell would strike first, as forward Owen Cole scored the first goal of the game with under a minute to go in the first period, giving the River Hawks a 1-0 lead, heading into the first intermission.
2nd Period: The River Hawks came to play today, giving Providence a run for their money by giving them tons of pressure in the offensive zone and ensuring none of their chances succeeded. Lowell would extend their lead when defender Brehdan Engum put one in the back of the net, making it 2-0 UMass Lowell. A few minutes later Providence would cut the lead in half, as Friars forward Bennett Schimek put one past Grigals halfway through the second. With the River Hawks heading into the second intermission up 2-1, the third period became do-or-die for the River Hawks.
3rd Period: Lowell transitioned to a defensive stance at this stage of the game, having the lead. All they needed to do was keep Providence’s chances limited and make sure the puck stayed out of the net, which is exactly what they did, sealing the win in the process. The UMass Lowell River Hawks defeat the Providence Friars 2-1 on Saturday Night.
With just two weekends to go in the regular season, it is full steam ahead for the River Hawks, as they set out for a home-and-home series with the Merrimack College Warriors next weekend and finishing the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Northeastern University Huskies. This is probably the most important stretch of hockey of the season, and everything is on the line, including a chance to qualify for the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament. Only time will tell how events play out, so enjoy the remaining 2 weeks of River Hawks hockey.