BOSTON, MA. – Hobey Baker finalist Darren Haydar (Milton, ONT) scored a goal and added an assist as top-ranked New Hampshire came from behind for a 4-3 victory over #13 Massachusetts-Lowell Friday night in a Hockey East Semifinal game at the Fleet Center.
With the victory, the Wildcats, 28-6-3 and winners of nine straight, advance to Saturday’s 8 p.m. Championship game against the winner of tonight’s Boston University-Maine semifinal. New Hampshire will look for its first tournament title in its fourth trip to the championship game. UMass Lowell falls to 22-13-3 and will await a possible NCAA bid selection on Sunday.
Matt Carney (Bridgewater, MA) made 26 saves while Jimi St. John (Windsor, ONT) stopped 12 and Lowell starting goaltender Cam McCormack (Kamloops, BC) also made 12 saves. Marc Concannon (Hull, MA) had a goal and an assist for the River Hawks.
Lowell outshot New Hampshire, 9-3 in the first period and led 2-1 after the first stanza. But defenseman Kevin Truelson (Avon, MA) scored at 11:53 of the second and sophomore winger Steve Saviano (Reading, MA) gave the Wildcats the lead at 14:03. Truelson picked up a rebound in the slot in front of McCormack and backhanded in his second of the season. Haydar passed to Saviano in front from the right of McCormack and Saviano’s 11th of the season gave the Wildcats a 3-2 lead after two stanzas. Jimi St. John (Windsor, ONT) took over in the River Hawks nets after Saviano’s tally. New Hampshire was 20-0-1 when leading after two periods.
Mick Mounsey (Concord, NH) gave the Wildcats a 4-2 advantage just 37 seconds into the third. His point shot bounced off UML defensemen in front as he scored his second of the season. The River Hawks got it back to within one at 4-3 as junior Ed McGrane (Hamilton, ONT) scored his 22nd of the season at 9:46. McGrane picked up a rebound and skated to the left circle and his low backhander past Carney.
Haydar opened the scoring when he gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at 4:52 of the first. The senior scored his 31st of the season after McCormack’s left pad save bounced out to the left faceoff circle for a waiting Haydar. The River Hawks, the fourth seed in the tournament and attempting to reach the championship to boost their NCAA hopes, tied it as defenseman Josh Reed (Vernon, BC) wristed home his fourth of the season. Reed took a face off win from Concannon inside the right point. Concannon scored his eighth of the season at 16:37 for the 2-1 River Hawks advantage. The junior winger came from behind the net and his center pass from the right side of Carney deflected off the leg of defenseman Nathan Martz (Chilliwack, BC).