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River Hawks fly by St. Lawrence University 5-2

UMass Lowell freshman Ryan Lohin defends against St. Lawrence’s Carson Gicewicz.  (Matt Dwyer/Connector)

Hannah Manning
Connector Editor

The No. 5 UMass Lowell men’s ice hockey team, the only undefeated team in Hockey East, notched another win onto their record with a 5-2 victory over No. 12 St. Lawrence University Friday night.

The first period ended in a 2-2 tie after St. Lawrence scored two goals in 43 seconds to come back from a 2-0 deficit. But the River Hawks charged out and took the Saints to task for the remaining forty minutes, scoring three goals and outplaying their opponent.

“[The River Hawks] made the most of their chances… they were quick, they were strong, and they were assertive,” said St. Lawrence Head Coach Mark Morris.

This match was an opportunity for the River Hawks to try out their special teams. 36 of the 60 minutes were spent with a player in the penalty box; there were numerous occasions in which there was 4-on-4 play. At one point in the second period, the River Hawks played with two men down and killed the penalty.

Coming into the game against St. Lawrence, the River Hawks boasted the best power play in the nation, with a 40.9% success rate. While they were unable to score on the power play, they more than made up for it with their penalty kill. Assistant captain Joe Gambardella and junior forward John Edwardh each notched a short-handed goal.

“If anyone gets a shorthanded goal it’s a big boost for us, obviously. We’re always kind of looking for it,” said Edwardh.

Both Gambardella and Edwardh were awarded with stars of the game honors. Edwardh earned second star with his five shots on goal. Gambardella’s two-point night got him the first star of the game.

Sophomore left wing Ryan Dmowski opened the scoring with his third goal of the season at 3:57 in the first period. The River Hawks posted another goal at 12:57 in the first period, as Tyler Mueller nabbed his first goal of the year, deflecting a shot from Mattias Göransson.

While killing a penalty midway through the second period, senior defenseman Dylan Zink cleared the puck out of the River Hawks defensive zone. Gambardella trailed the puck into St. Lawrence’s offensive zone, matching the St. Lawrence player trying to play the puck stride for stride. As the puck trickled towards the goal, Gambardella swiped the puck and sent it skyward over Saints goaltender Kyle Hayton’s shoulder for a shorthanded goal.

Head Coach Norm Bazin dubbed the play “vintage Gambardella.”

“I was just trying my best just to get there first, to get a touch,” said Gambardella.

The River Hawks were assertive in following up on opportunities, taking a lot of chances to get shots on net. At the end of the night, they had racketed up 38 shots on goal and 64 shot attempts. By contrast, St. Lawrence had 13 shots and 34 shot attempts.

In his third start for the River Hawks, freshman goaltender Tyler Wall saved 11 shots. After allowing the two St. Lawrence goals, Wall shut the door, locked it, and leaned against the door for good measure.

Junior goaltender Kyle Hayton, the starter for the Saints, was pulled after allowing the fifth goal. Hayton lost control of the puck which gave junior right wing Gage Hough the opportunity to slam it home for his first goal of the season.

While Hough pumped his arms in gratification and excitement, it was time for Hayton to head to the bench. His replacement, Arthur Brey, made 13 saves and didn’t allow the puck to get past him until the clock winded down to zero.

Coach Bazin said that he was most satisfied with how the River Hawks team managed the special teams, and how they allowed only thirteen shots on goal.

Although the Saints took advantage of a late first period lag, but River Hawks bounced back in the second and third periods. “There’s a bunch of momentum shifts in hockey over the course of a season, so you want your guys to be resilient and persevere through some of the momentum shifts. You actually expect those things, especially when you get into penalty trouble. We killed four straight tonight, and I thought that one of the keys to the game was some key blocks, by all types of guys. Upperclassmen and well as underclassmen. We have several freshmen killing penalties,” said Coach Bazin.

“Anyone who blocks a shot or scores a shortie, it’s very inspiring for the rest of the team,” said Coach Bazin.

 The River Hawks will finish their Homecoming Weekend with a Saturday night game against another ECAC team, Clarkson University at 7 p.m.

Hannah Manning

Hannah Manning is the Editor in Chief of the UMass Lowell Connector. A native of Haverhill, Mass., she is a senior working towards her bachelor's in English with a concentration in journalism and professional writing. She likes hockey, music and her fellow staff members at the Connector.

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