UMass Hockey Edged By #15/14 UMass Lowell, 3-2
Feb. 16, 2013
LOWELL, Mass. - On a night where all the scoring came in the second period, the UMass hockey team was edged by #15/14 UMass Lowell, 3-2, at the Tsongas Center. Following the setback, the Minutemen are now 10-15-2 overall, 7-12-1 in Hockey East action, while the River Hawks improve to 16-9-2 and 10-8-2 in conference play.
UMass line of juniors Michael Pereira, Branden Gracel and Conor Sheary provided all the offense for the Minutemen as all three had multi-point nights. Pereira and Sheary each with a goal and an assist and Gracel with a pair of helpers to bring his point total to a squad-best 29 on the year.
After a scoreless first period, UMass Lowell broke the deadlock at the 6:23 mark of the second, beginning a seven minute, five second span in which a combined five goals were scored. With UMass on the first power pay of the game, the River Hawks managed a short-handed two-on-one with Joseph Pendenza setting up the Christian Folin tally.
It then became a 2-0 advantage for the River Hawks courtesy of a power play goal by Riley Wetmore from the left faceoff circle, 10:06 into the stanza. Derek Arnold and Scott Wilson earned assists on the play.
The Minutemen took one of the goals back 38 seconds later as Sheary fed Gracel from behind the net for a shot that was tapped home in the air by Pereira after fluttering over UMass Lowell netminder Connor Hellebuyck.
Twenty-six seconds following, the River Hawks expanded the lead back out to two as Arnold finished off a pass from Wetmore at 11:10.
UMass then capped off the flurry of offense as Gracel and Pereira set up Sheary, who ripped a shot in from close range past Hellebuyck at 13:28 to climb back to within one at 3-2.
That was all scoring for the night, though, in a contest that ended with a 32-25 shot advantage for UMass Lowell. The River Hawks went 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Minutemen were 0-for-2. UMass netminder Steve Mastalerz totaled 29 saves and Hellebuyck registered 23 stops for UMass Lowell.
UMass will have a quick turnaround, playing its next game on Tuesday, Feb. 19, against Northeastern at 7 p.m., the first of three straight for the Minutemen at the Mullins Center.