AMHERST, Mass. - Two third period goals from James Marcou and Michael Marcou lifted No. 19 UMass to a 3-2 win over No. 15 UMass Lowell on Friday night at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen (13-8-0, 8-6-0 HEA) took a 2-1 lead early in the third period before Lowell tied the score with five minutes to play. But it was the younger Marcou who netted his second game-winner of the season to give the Mass Attack the win. Paul Dainton made 31 saves for the Minutemen, while Nevin Hamilton stopped 35 shots for the River Hawks (12-7-2, 6-5-2 HEA). The two teams will faceoff tomorrow night in the series finale at 7 PM from Tsongas Arena in Lowell.
Massachusetts outshot Lowell 38-33 for the game, while the Minutemen were 1-for-5 on the power play and held a slight edge in faceoff, winning 34 of 65 draws. The River Hawks went 0-for-5 on the man advantage.
The Minutemen came out hard in the first period looking to continue their aggressive play from Sunday's battle at Northeastern, jumping out to a 1-0 lead and outshooting Lowell 11-6. The River Hawks were sent to the penalty box three times during the opening frame, and UMass got the scoring started during its first man advantage. Just 17 seconds after Nick Schaus was whistled for hooking, Will Ortiz notched his 11th goal of the year when he pounded a loose puck past Hamilton.
After James Marcou fed a pass to Justin Braun at the point, Braun fired a shot from above the hashmarks that was blocked by a skater. Ortiz quickly spotted the puck in front and backhanded it over the goal line to give the Minutemen the lead. Lowell pressured Dainton following the goal, forcing the junior netminder to make several tough stops to preserve UMass' early lead.
Despite the Minutemen outshooting Lowell 14-13 in the second period, it was the River Hawks who carried the play during the stanza, netting the equalizer midway through the frame. Ten minutes into the period, Jeremy Dehner scored his fourth goal of the season when he went coast to coast from the Lowell zone and beat Dainton over his right shoulder.
With most of their shots coming from in between the hashmarks, the Minutemen had several opportunities of their own following the goal, but Hamilton was there to turn away all 14 UMass bids during the period.
Massachusetts took a 2-1 lead 40 seconds into the third period on James Marcou's seventh goal of the year. T.J. Syner dished the puck to Casey Wellman in the slot, who let a wrist shot go on Hamilton. The shot rang off the post, but Marcou was there to clean up the mess for the score.
The Minutemen played a dump and chase style to continue the period, but Lowell answered with the tying goal with 5:06 remaining in regulation. David Vallorani controlled the puck below the goal line before spotting Chris Auger on the doorstep for a quick one-timer through Dainton's pads.
During four on four play with three minutes left, Michael Marcou netted the game-winning goal when he was left alone in front of the crease for his fifth goal of the season. Syner handled the puck down low before throwing it in front to Brett Watson. Hamilton shifted to Watson expecting the shot, but the senior captain found Marcou instead with 2:19 left in the period.