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River Hawks score three power play goals, down Vermont 4-2

Joe Gambardella (5) controls the puck as he is pursued by Vermont forward Rob Darrar (23). (Matt Dwyer/Connector)

Hannah Manning
Connector Editor

The No. 6 UMass Lowell men’s hockey team finished their series against the University of Vermont with two wins, getting them 4 points in the Hockey East conference.

With the 4-2 win on Saturday night, the River Hawks advanced to a 6-2-2 record and a spotless Hockey East record at 2-0-0.

“We’re very relieved. To get four points in Hockey East is very difficult, and it’s an excellent team that we just played, and we were able to get it done in the end,” said coach Bazin.

Freshman goaltender Tyler Wall extends his record to 6-1-1, making 27 saves on 29 shots.

For Saturday night’s contest, Vermont swapped goalies, putting in Mike Santaguida. Santaguida made 20 saves on 24 shots.

The River Hawks scored three power play goals. Sophomore center Nick Master opened the scoring with his first goal of the season at 5:51 in the first period.

Ryan Lohin’s first goal as a River Hawk, another power play goal, extended UMass Lowell’s lead to two thirty seconds into UMass Lowell’s third power play of the night.

Lohin had two points on Saturday night with the primary assist on Master’s goal and with his own goal. He had four shots total for the night, pulling ahead of senior defenseman Tommy Panico, senior center Joe Gambardella, and Master for the team lead.

Junior forward Jake Kamrass added the third power play goal of the night at 4:34 in the third period. It was his fifth goal of the season, and third power play goal of the season.

UMass Lowell was 3 for 6 on the power play. The team is currently ranked fifth in the country on the power play with a 28.3% success rate.

Gambardella added an insurance goal late in the third period with a doozy. For his sixth goal of the season, he cruised in on Santaguida before tapping the puck into the right-hand side. John Edwardh tallied his sixth assist of the year on Gambardella’s goal.

Vermont was aggressive on possession throughout the night. The Catamounts used their good stickwork to wrangle the puck away from the River Hawks and foil scoring chances.

UMass Lowell managed to rally together after Master’s goal and put more shots on net, and did especially well in the latter half of the first period with scoring chances.

The River Hawks had an overall successful penalty kill. They did well with clearing the puck out of their zone and chasing the puck for shorthanded chances.

Junior left wing C.J. Smith had one such opportunity in the second period. Smith found himself on a shorthanded breakaway, with Catamounts players hounding him as he streaked down the ice. He moved right, left, and tried to stuff the puck into the right side of the net.

Vermont regained possession in the second period. It took the River Hawks seven minutes to land a shot on goal, and by then Vermont had come back to tie them in shots.

The Catamounts managed to cut the River Hawks’s lead to one with a goal by Rob Darrar. Darrar’s second goal of the year came at 16:54 in the second period.

Vermont attempted a comeback late in the third with a power play goal scored by Brendan Bradley, and pulled their goaltender not long after. But the scoring ended after that power play goal, and the buzzer sounded with another River Hawk win in the books.

“You’ve got timely goalscoring, your special teams are on, this was a really difficult game to navigate. There were a lot of lulls. The ebbs and flows you had to work through. And I didn’t think certain lines were really on, but they just worked through it. And that’s what was most appealing about this win,” said head coach Norm Bazin.

Next week, the River Hawks will embark on a home-and-home against the University of Maine. Friday night’s contest will be in Orono at 7 p.m. On Sunday, the River Hawks return to the Tsongas Center for the final game of the series. Puck drop is at 3 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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