Ice Hockey

#1 UMass Lowell Tops UMass Hockey, 5-2

Senior Branden Gracel scored his first of the season at UMass Lowell on Saturday.

Senior Branden Gracel scored his first of the season at UMass Lowell on Saturday.

Oct. 12, 2013

Box Score

LOWELL, Mass. - Despite excelling on special teams for a second straight night, the UMass hockey team dropped a 5-2 decision to #1 UMass Lowell at Tsongas Arena on Saturday. Following the setback the Minutemen are 0-2-0 on the year, while the River Hawks move to 1-1-0.

Senior Branden Gracel and redshirt junior Troy Power both netted power-play goals for UMass. Power's marked his first since returning from an injury that resulted in him missing the final 23 games of last season, his first tally since Nov. 9, 2012 vs. Providence. Seniors Colin Shea and Adam Phillips each logged assists for a second straight contest.

UMass Lowell put home the first goal of the night late in the opening period. A pass from Chris Maniccia in the corner found Ryan McGrath alone in front for a tap in at 16:28.

The River Hawks then increased their lead to 2-0, converting their sixth power play of the evening. Joseph Pendenza drove in a low shot from the left point with Michael Kapla and Scott Wilson earning the assists on the tally 17:21 into the second.

Early in the third period, UMass capitalized on a power play opportunity to cut its deficit in half, 2-1. A point-to-point pass from senior Conor Sheary to senior Joel Hanley set up a drive towards the net that was redirected in at the far post by Gracel for the goal at 4:53.

UMass Lowell pushed its advantage back to two, though. Joe Houk put in a rebound from Scott Wilson on an odd-man rush at the 10:32 mark.



The Minutemen trimmed the deficit to one once more. With the man advantage following an interference call on A.J. White, Power back-handed in a rebound off a shot from the point by Shea. Phillips earned the assist on the play, as well.

That was as close as UMass would come, though, as the River Hawks went on to seal their win with a tally by Michael Fallon at 17:10 and an empty net goal by Chris Maniccia 19:21 into the frame.

UMass Lowell finished with a 34-29 advantage in shots and went 1-for-7 on the power play, while the Minutemen were 2-for-5. Junior goaltender Steve Mastalerz registered 29 saves in net for UMass and Doug Carr totaled 27 stops for the River Hawks.

The Minutemen will be back in action next Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18-19, playing host to Michigan State for a pair at the Mullins Center for UMass' home opener.

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