Lowell, MA – New Hampshire saw excellent production from its juniors and seniors Saturday evening at the Tsongas Arena, as five veteran skaters picked up a goal and an assist to lead the Wildcats over the UMass Lowell Hockey team 6-2 in front of 4,861 fans.
The River Hawks came out of the gate with good pressure, out-shooting the Wildcats in the early goings. UML broke the scoreless tie when senior defenseman Josh Reed (Vernon, BC) picked up his second goal of the season. Reed collected a turnover in neutral ice and flicked the puck into the UNH zone at net. Junior goaltender Mike Ayers (Hingham, MA) could not control the bounding puck, as it rolled into the net for a shorthanded marker at 4:20. The River Hawks took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, out-shooting the Wildcats 10-7.
UNH was unfazed by the early UML lead, as the Wildcats came out in the second and put four unanswered goals on the board. At 2:56, junior Tim Horst (St. Paul, MN) took the face-off draw and sent the puck five-hole from the blue line to tie the game.
UNH used crisp passes to take the lead at 9:24, when the Wildcat skaters found an open junior Nathan Martz (Chilliwack, BC) on the doorstep. The Wildcats built their lead with a rebound goal by junior Tyler Scott (Rockville, MD) at 15:59, and finished off scoring in the period at 19:14 when junior Steve Saviano (Reading, MA) took a pass from behind the UML net and beat freshman netminder Dominic Smart (Millersville, MD). UNH took the three-goal lead into the second intermission, having out shot the River Hawks 9-8 in the period.
The Wildcats continued to pour it on in the third as senior Lanny Gare (Vernon, BC) took a feed from behind the River Hawk net to score at 4:57 to make it 5-1. UML answered back when senior captain Ed McGrane (Hamilton, ONT) extended his point-scoring streak to 15 games with a shot from the blue line that found the back of the net at 13:52. UNH put the game’s final goal on the board with senior Colin Hemingway (Surney, BC) scored his team-leading seventh goal at 17:13 on the power-play.
Smart made 18 saves in net on the evening for UML, while on the other end Ayers stopped 27 attempts for the Wildcats. UNH went 1-for-3 with the man-advantage, however UML could not capitalize on its five power-plays after scoring all three of its goals last night with the extra-man.
Next weekend UMass Lowell (4-5-0, 0-4-0 HE) will begin the front end of a home-home series against UMass Amherst on Friday, while #3 New Hampshire (5-1-2, 3-1-1 HE) will host Hockey East foe Providence Friday at 7:00 p.m.