NORTH ANDOVER, MA - Stephane Da Costa (Paris, France) scored twice and added an assist, but UMass Lowell used three power play goals to snap a 13-game losing streak and end #13/14 Merrimack's six-game winning streak with a 6-4 triumph at Lawler Arena Friday night.
#13/14 Merrimack (13-5-4, 7-5-3 HEA) continues its season-long four-game homestand against the University of Vermont next Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Saturday's game will be televised by NESN, marking the first NESN-televised game in North Andover since 2005. Tickets are available at merrimackathletics.com or by calling the ticket office at 978-837-5324. Lowell (3-18-2, 3-14-0 HEA) will visit #3/3 Boston College Saturday night at Conte Forum.
The Warriors struck first as junior Elliott Sheen (Lethbridge, AB), who missed Tuesday's game, netted his third of the year on a wraparound at 11:42 of the first. Sheen took feeds from Ryan Flanigan (Rochester, NY) and Adam Ross (Red Deer, AB) to give the hosts the early lead.
But Lowell answered as Riley Wetmore stole a Merrimack pass in its own zone and fed David Vallorani, who buried it for his sixth of the year at 17:45.
The visitors took it to Merrimack scoring twice four minutes apart early in the second as Maury Edwards and Matt Ferreira each picked up power play tallies to give the River Hawks the 3-1 advantage.
A blast from Stephane Da Costa (Paris, France) on the power play cut the lead to 3-2 at 10:01, but Joseph Pendenza answered right back finding a rebound in front of Joe Cannata (Wakefield, MA) and buried it for his sixth of the year just 17-seconds later.
Da Costa sent the teams to the locker room at the end of two periods with a one-goal game, as he picked up his second power play goal of the night and his 12th of the year at 19:24. The sophomore took feeds from Jesse Todd (Camrose, AB) and Brendan Ellis (Kelowna, BC) with the Warriors on a two-man advantage and one-timed it past the blocker of Doug Carr on his short side.
But Patrick Cey answered back from UML at 11:23 of the third, firing a wrister past Cannata for his second of the season, extending the visitors' lead to 5-3.
With Cannata pulled for the extra attacker with the Warriors on the power play late, Mike Collins (Boston, MA) knocked in a loose puck in front of Carr for his fifth of the year, cutting the lead to one.
But the Warriors' comeback was not enough as Vallorani knocked in an empty-netter at 19:24 to seal the victory, sending Merrimack to just its second loss in nine home games this season.
Da Costa finished with three points, extending his point streak to 12 games, while Collins (goal, assist) and Ellis (two assists) each added multi-point efforts.
Merrimack's power play converted three times in six chances but killed off just three of five Lowell power plays.
Cannata finished with 27 saves, as Lowell outshot the Warriors 33-29, including 14-9 in the second period.