(Photo courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics) “UMass Lowell player checked against wall”
The River Hawk hockey team’s season has officially begun as they faced the University of Alaska at Anchorage Seawolves at the Avis Sports Complex this past week. They left Alaska with a record of 1-1-0 (0-0-0 Hockey East).
The River Hawks gathered up penalties this game, having five compared to the one that Anorachge took, but neither team was able to use the upper hand to their advantage.
In the first game, Alaska held the lead for most of the game at 2-0 by goals. During the third, the River Hawks fought back with shots by freshman Jaiden Moriello, sophomore Nick Rhéaume and graduate student Alex Peterson; but they were caught by Seawolves goalie Jared Whale.
These efforts would prove effective as junior Matt Crasa would tie the game by scoring two goals with assists from junior Owen Cole. The defense from Lowell was strong as they were able to hold off the Seawolves during five different power plays. Senior goaltender Henry Welsch had an impressive first game of the season as he concluded the evening with 17 saves.
The River Hawks were able to bring the game into overtime. Max Helgeson of Anchorage would give the Seawolves a win with less than a minute left in overtime.
The second game with Alaska would not be much easier for the River Hawks. Although, this matchup would lead to a hard-fought 2-1 win.
Sophomores Scout Truman and Nick Rhéaume earned their first goals of the season with assists from senior Ben Meehan and Brehdan Engum. Freshman Jak Vaarwerk picked up his first career point by assisting Rhéaume’s goal.
The River Hawks would continue their strong defense this game with sophomore TJ Schweighardt and junior Isac Jonsson blocking two shots. This game would also have junior transfer Luke Pavicich playing in the net for the first time as a River Hawk, making 21 saves.
The first two periods were a neck-and-neck battle between both teams but remained 0-0. The third is when things started to get busy.
Within just five minutes of the third period starting, Rhéaume’s shot would find its spot in the goal, bringing the River Hawks up 1-0. Just a few minutes later, Truman would get a shot past Seawolves goalie Whale for a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the River Hawks, Alaska Anchorage gained a power play in the last ten minutes of the game. During this matchup, the Seawolves wound up making it past Pavicich, putting them on the board.
The River Hawks held their ground though, and although there was a lot of back-and-forth shooting at nets, UMass Lowell was able to hold their 2-1 score for their first win of the 2023-2024 season.
Soon the River Hawks will be coming home to the Tsongas Center for their first Hockey East game. The River Hawks will face off against the University of Connecticut Huskies on Friday, October 27 at 7:15 p.m. The theme of the game will be Eras night and they will be doing DIY bracelets.