The fifth-ranked UMass Lowell River Hawks skated to a 3-1 victory at Alabama-Huntsville on Friday night. Freshman Colin Wright (Burlington, Ont.) scored two goals, including the game-winner, to fuel the River Hawk win.
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UMass Lowell, the highest-ranked team to play the Chargers in Huntsville, improves to 6-2-1 on the season and remains 3-1-1 following the non-conference win. Alabama-Huntsville falls to 3-5-0 on the campaign and 0-4-0 at home.
The Chargers wasted no time in the contest as Kevin Morrison (Mississauga, Ont.) scored just 46 seconds into the first period. As Alabama-Huntsville gained control of the puck, Cody Campbell (Maple Ridge, B.C.) sent it into the neutral zone for Andrew Coburn (Mount Forest, Ont.). Coburn split the defense with a pass to Morrison as he broke into the UMass Lowell zone with only the goaltender standing in his way. Morrison's shot on the far post appeared to be trapped under the leg pad of Nevin Hamilton (Ashland, MA), but his momentum carried the senior netminder across the redline to give the Chargers a 1-0 lead.
The River Hawks killed off some early penalties in the second period before finally finding their stride with a goal at 9:40 into the middle stanza. With pressure at the net front, Matt Ferreira (Brampton, Ont.) took a shot with the rebound kicking to Scott Campbell (Navan, Ont.) for a jam attempt that was stopped by goalie Cameron Talbot (Caledonia, Ont.). The third time proved to be the charm, as Wright netted the quick strike to knot the game at 1-1. It was Wright's second goal of the season and his career.
Wright wasn't done as he used well timed passing and hustle with his line mate and fellow freshman Riley Wetmore (Swanton, VT) to score the go-ahead goal at the 18:26 mark in the second. Wetmore chased down his own shot attempt, curled back behind the net and executed a perfect centering pass to Wright for the wrist shot that beat Talbot for his second goal of the game.
The River Hawks got one more before the night was over, a goal at 4:56 into the final period. Michael Budd (Burlington, Ont.) sent the pass to Michael Scheu (Buffalo, NY) who was stationed along the near boards. Scheu turned and fired a centering pass that connected perfectly with David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) for the score, giving UMass Lowell the 3-1 lead that would last through the end of the game.
The River Hawks finished the contest 0-for-6 on the power play, but held the Chargers scoreless on three penalty kills. Hamilton remains undefeated this season as he moves to 3-0-1 in 2009-10 while stopping 19-of-20 Alabama-Huntsville shots. Talbot dropped to 3-6-0 on the season, making 30 saves in the loss. UMass Lowell has one more game with the Chargers before heading north. The River Hawks return to the Van Braun Center tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. CT looking for the sweep.