LOWELL, Mass. - A pair of underclassmen sent out their seniors with a bang as Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.) and David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) each scored twice in a 7-2 win over Providence College on Saturday night. The victory, on senior night, was the program's 100th all-time in the Tsongas Center and coach Blaise MacDonald's 150th at UMass Lowell.
The River Hawks pick up their fourth home win of the season, improving to 5-24-3 overall and 4-20-1 in conference play. The Friars' playoff chances took a hit with the loss, falling to 7-17-8 on the season and 3-15-7 in Hockey East action.
The game started with a familiar scene as freshman Joseph Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.) scored at 12:57 into the first. Pendenza redirected Daniel Furlong's (Stoneham, Mass.) shot from the point for his 10th career goal. The freshman sparkplug is the first River Hawk to record double-digit goals as a rookie since Kory Falite in 2006-07. Pendenza now has five career scores against Providence, including three this weekend.
The Friars pulled the score back even before the period ended with a Ben Farrer (Calgary, Alta.) tally at 19:27. Kyle MacKinnon (Walnut, Calif.) fed Farrer streaking down the far boards and the right winger converted a wrist shot for his fourth goal of the year.
The River Hawks resumed control early in the second with a rebound score from Wetmore. Alex Beaudry (Cumberland, Ont.) turned away Michael Budd's (Burlington, Ont.) shot, but Wetmore buried the loose puck.
Providence responded again, scoring a power play goal just under two minutes later. Ian O'Connor (Londonderry, N.H.) jammed the far post, but was stopped by Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.). Matt Bergland (Fairbault, Minn.) waited on the weak-side and netted the rebound opportunity to tie the game at 2-2.
Despite the even play through the opening 25 minutes, the scoring took a sudden turn for the lopsided as UMass Lowell netted the next five tallies.
Vallorani kicked off the onslaught with a perfectly placed wrist shot over Beaudry's shoulder on the power play at 5:39 into the second, giving the River Hawks a 3-2 lead.
With the first three scores coming from a freshman, sophomore and junior, it was a pair of seniors that delivered the back-breaker. Maury Edwards (Rocky Rapids, Alta.) picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated with speed into the Friar zone. Running out of ice, Edwards centered a pass that Jason DeLuca (East Moriches, N.Y.) tipped the puck between Beaudry's legs for his second goal of the season at 8:42 into the middle frame.
With a two goal lead, the River Hawks picked up three more scores over final 31 minutes from Wetmore, Matt Ferreira (Brampton, Ont.) and Vallorani.
Freshman goalie Carr grabbed his fourth victory of the year, stopping 27-of-29 shots. Providence's Beaudry made 26 saves and fell to 6-15-8 before being pulled midway through the second period for Justin Gates (Cranston, R.I.). Gates made six saves over the final 31 minutes.
The River Hawks finished two-for-three on the power play while the Friars went one-for-four with the man advantage.
With one weekend remaining in the regular season, UMass Lowell will head to Vermont to close out the year. Providence will engage in a home-and-home with Merrimack College.