UMass Lowell hockey battled back from a one-goal deficit in the third period on Friday night to earn a 2-2 tie at Niagara University. The River Hawks got goals from junior Michael Scheu (Buffalo, N.Y.) and senior Patrick Cey (Saskatoon, Sask.).
The non-conference tie moves UMass Lowell to 0-1-1 on the young season, while Niagara stays unbeaten at 0-0-2.
Despite a strong offensive period from UMass Lowell, the Purple Eagles scored the game's first goal to take a 1-0 lead at 6:09 in the opening period. Forward Paul Zanette (Nobleton, Ont.) broke into the River Hawks' zone and split a pair of defenders for a 1-on-1 with goaltender Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.). Zanette reeled off a quick back-hander that snuck past Carr for the unassisted power play score. Even with the early deficit, UMass Lowell appeared to control the pace of play and outshot Niagara, 13-10.
The River Hawks came out firing in the second period, leveling the score at 1:08 with a power play goal from Scheu. Carr sent the puck the length of the ice and junior David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) chased it down. While being pursued by the defense, the shifty forward spun around and hit Scheu will a pass near the red line. Scheu skated out a few feet and ripped a wrist shot that hit Carsen Chubak (Prince Albert, Sask.) in the arm and trickled into the net. The goal was Scheu's first of the season, coming in front of a large family contingency in the stands from nearby Buffalo.
UMass Lowell held the lead for most of the period, but let up a second power play goal with 4:13 remaining in the middle frame. Ryan Annesley (Ajax, Ont.) took a shot from the point that hit teammate Giancarlo Iuorio (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and was deflected into the net.
The River Hawks wasted little time in the third to knot the score up once more on a goal by Cey. The senior forward took a feed from Chris Ickert (Abbotsford, B.C.) and beat Chubak with a wrist shot from the far circle. Cey's first score of the year evened the game at 2-2.
In overtime, UMass Lowell outshot the Purple Eagles, 8-0, and had several excellent scoring chances that came up just short over the five action packed minutes.
For the game, UMass Lowell outshot Niagara, 41-36. Freshman netminder Carr made a career-high 34 saves to improve to 0-1-1 in his young career. Niagara's Chubak turned away 39-of-41 shots in his collegiate debut.
With the tie in the record books, the River Hawks will gear up for their second game of the weekend: a non-conference tilt with RIT at 7 p.m. on Saturday.