The UMass Lowell River Hawks looked to snap a five-game losing streak on Friday night vs the Vermont Catamounts. UMass Lowell was also trying to get back to playing winning hockey at home. They were 1-8-1 in Tsongas Center this year. Over the years the River Hawks have had success vs the Catamounts. The record is 40-17-8. all-time. The starting goalies on Friday night were, for Vermont Gabe Garriere (10-12-1, 2.68 GAA, 975%) for Vermont, and Henry Welsch for UMass Lowell. His record was (4-8-2, 2.48 GAA, 910%).
The first period was an up-and-down skating game. There was one penalty in the period that went to Vermont center Thomas Sinclair for goalie interference at 8:33. The River Hawks put two shots on net, however, the best chance came right after the penalty was up. Sinclair came racing out of the box and picked up the puck just outside the River Hawks blue line. He skated on goal from left to right and got a shot on goal from outside the crease that Welsch stopped. Later in the period, UMass Lowell got a good scoring chance as defenseman Isac Jonsson went end to end split two Catamounts defensemen, and put a shot on net that Carriere stopped in the bread basket. In the final four minutes, the River Hawks buzzed around the Catamounts net, but could not get the game’s first goal. The period ended 0-0 and shots were 12-9 in favor of UMass Lowell.
Vermont scored the game’s first goal at the 1:59 mark of the second period. Joel Maatta got the goal with the assist going to Ryan Miotto giving the Catamounts a 1-0 lead. The goal was scored from deep on the right wing side of the ice by Maatta. When allowing the game’s first goal, the River Hawks are 2-11-1. The River Hawks tied the game at 1-1 on the 3rd goal of the season for defenseman Mitchell Becker with the assist going to Alex Peterson. Becker made a great move inside the Catamounts blueline after receiving a pass from Peterson went down the slot and beat Carriere between the legs to tie the game. The River Hawks almost took the lead on a partial breakaway from Filip Forraa Svensson who took a pass from defenseman Brendan Engum and walked in on Carriere who used his shoulder to stop the shot. Each team would have a late power play to work with, but nothing came of them so the second period ended 1-1. When tied after two periods, UMass Lowell was 3-3-1. The River Hawks outshot Vermont 6-5, and for the game were up 13-11.
As the third period began, the question was how would the next goal be scored. Each team’s power play was not getting the job done. Vermont was 0-for-2, while UMass Lowell was 0-for-3. The answer was almost even strength by the Catamounts. Timafei Spitserov was set up in the slot with most of the net to shoot at. He missed it high and wide to the left. With 13:42 left the game was still tied 1-1. UMass Lowell took their fourth penalty on Owen Cole’s tripping call at 6:18. Vermont would hit the post but could not score, and now were 0-for-4 on the PP. Seconds after the penalty was over Vermont hit the post for the second time in the period.
The River Hawks were getting away with the close calls, the question was for how much longer? Despite having lots of zone time in the Catamounts end of the ice, the River Hawks keep missing the net. Johnson and then Dillian Bentley had good chances but missed the net. With 1:29 left Becker walked in from the right point and was stopped by Carriere. The River Hawks got one more shot on the power play as Luca Munzenberger went off for high sticking at 18:37. In regulation play, the River Hawks did nothing with the power play. The game now went to overtime. The River Hawks had a 7-4 shots advantage for a 20-15 advantage for three periods.
UMass Lowell started overtime with a 4-on-3 advantage for 37 seconds. They would get one shot on goal but no goal from it. They were now 0-for-4 on the PP. Vermont’s best chance in OT came off the stick of Miotto from the left-wing side. Welsch took care of it. 5 minutes were played and still no decision so the game now went to a shootout. UMass Lowell chose to shoot first. and missed the net. Vermont scored on their first shot. Miotto went left to right and slipped one by Welsch. UMass Lowell’s second shot was stopped by Carriere’s glove. After a Vermont miss, Svensson had the last chance but the blocker of Carriere stopped his shot. Vermont wins the shootout 1-0.
The River Hawks are now winless in their last six games (0-5-1). Vermont is now (1-3-1) in their last five games. After the game, UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin said “The number one goal was to play 60 or 65 minutes.” He also thought “it was a good hockey game.”
The River Hawks will try to snap the winless streak on Saturday night when they face Vermont again.
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