(Photo Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics) “River Hawk hockey 2023-2024 preview.”
The River Hawks are gearing up for another great season on the ice once again. Some old faces have sadly departed, such as forward Carl Berglund (Edmonton Oilers), goaltender Gustavs David Grigals (Milwaukee Admirals), and Marek Korencik (HK Dukla Michalovce, Slovakian League), among others. But with those losses, we still have some of the same faces that everyone has come to love and respect, along with some new friends.
This past summer, the River Hawks welcomed goaltender Luke Pavcich to the team from in-state rival Massachusetts/UMass Amherst, defender James Goffredo from the North American Hockey League’s Austin Bruins, forward Alex Peterson from the College of Holy Cross, and forward Nick Granowicz from the University of Michigan, along with 8 freshmen to the roster.
The River Hawks will begin the season in Anchorage, Alaska on October 7th and 8th as they take on the Seawolves. Then from there, they travel once again to Hamilton, New York to take on the Colgate Raiders on October 20th and 21st. Opening weekend will take place on October 27th with the beginning of a home-and-home series with the UConn Huskies, ending with a visit to UConn’s yard the next night.
Then on November 3rd, the River Hawks will travel down to Massachusetts Avenue to take on the Boston College Eagles, before returning home on November 4th, during UMass Lowell’s Homecoming Weekend. The next 2 weekends will feature home-and home series’, with games against Boston University and another hated rival in Merrimack College, in what could both be revenge games for being eliminated in last season’s Hockey East Semifinals.
The UMass Lowell River Hawks will be participating in this year’s Turkey Leg Classic, with the first matchup featuring the Bentley University Falcons and the Army Golden Knights, with both games taking place at The Tsongas Center. The River Hawks close out the first half of the season with games on the road at UConn and Vermont, as well as a home-and-home series against Peterson’s old team, Holy Cross, on December 8th and 9th.
After the Christmas Break/End of end-of-semester holiday break, the River Hawks are back at it again with a game against the American International College Yellow Jackets at home on December 30th. The first games of the 2024 calendar year will be played as a part of the Desert Hockey Classic in Tempe, Arizona, with the first matchup being against the University of Nebraska Mavericks on January 5th, and play either the Arizona State Sun Devils or the Harvard Crimson the next day.
The River Hawks will return to normal action on January 19th and 20th, with back-to-back games against the UMaine Black Bears up in Orono, Maine. UMass Lowell will return to Tsongas Center on January 26th in a home-and-home series against Providence College. After playing Boston College again on February 2nd in a one-off, the River Hawks will play Vermont in back-to-back home games at Tsongas Center on February 9th and 10th. After that, it’s a home-and-home with the Northeastern University Huskies and a one-off at home against Providence College.
The weekend after that, it is rivalry week in River Hawk Country, with hated rivals Massachusetts/UMass Amherst coming to town and playing host in the usual home-and-home format on March 1st and 2nd. And finally, the River Hawks regular season will be coming to a close with a home-and-home against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats on March 8th and 9th.
After falling in the Hockey East Semifinals last year to Merrimack College, the River Hawks will be looking to get themselves back into the title picture and hopefully make a run for the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship this season. Only time will tell how these acquisitions and departures will change the overall team, but with Head Coach Norm Bazin back at the helm for UMass Lowell, it will certainly be an entertaining season and one for the ages. Happy hockey season, River Hawk fans!