LOWELL, Mass. - River Hawk hockey pulled a stunning overtime victory, 5-4, against Providence College during Friday night's home opener in the Tsongas Center. Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.) netted a goal 36 seconds into overtime to give UMass Lowell its first victory of the season.
The inaugural win boosts the River Hawks' record to 1-1-2 overall and 1-1-0 in Hockey East action. The loss drops the Friars to 1-3-0 on the campaign and 1-1-0 in conference contests.
The game got off to a shaky start with Providence sinking the puck at 4:36 into the first period. Kyle MacKinnon (Walnut, Calif.) took a feed from Ben Farrer (Calgary, Alta.) and beat goaltender Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.) for the score.
Freshman Joseph Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.) evened the game on a break-away late in the first. Pendenza received the pass in neutral ice from Chad Ruhwedel (San Diego, Calif.) and beat Alex Beaudry (Cumberland, Ont.) five-hole at 14:12. It was Pendenza's first collegiate goal in just his second career game.
The tie was short lived as Matt Bergland (Fairbault, Minn.) capitalized on a Maury Edwards' (Rocky Rapids, Alta.) turnover in his own zone for a score just 40 seconds later.
The Friars continued their fast paced offense, taking a 3-1 lead early in the second period. Tyler Landman (Roseau, Minn.) scored his first collegiate goal at 1:23 into the middle frame.
Derek Arnold (Foxboro, Mass.) chipped away at the Providence lead, scoring a power play goal from Michael Budd (Burlington, Ont.) and Ruhwedel at 3:48 in the second. Budd's shot was saved by Beaudry, but Arnold was there to knock in the rebound for his first collegiate goal.
The comeback appeared complete just 30 seconds later as Pendenza netted his second goal of the evening, putting back a rebound from fellow freshman Nick Curry (Augusta, Ga.).
The River Hawks took their first lead of the game at 13:04 into the third. Ruhwedel scored his first career goal on the power play as his shot hit the post, then Beaudry's back, before going into the net.
The lead was cut short as Jordan Kremyr (Cloverdale, B.C.) scored a rebound goal off of Derek Army's (North Kingstown, R.I.) shot with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
UMass Lowell wasted no time putting the game to rest in overtime, scoring just 36 seconds into the extra period. Josh Holmstrom (Colorado Springs, Colo.) stole the puck behind the net and dished to Wetmore on a wrap-around for the game-winner. The goal was Wetmore's second of the season.
The River Hawks' Carr finished with 33 saves in his first career victory, improving to 1-1-1 on the season. Beaudry dropped to 1-3-0 despite making 39 saves. UMass Lowell went two-for-five on the power play, while blanking both Friar chances with the man advantage.
Following tonight's game, the River Hawks will welcome Northeastern to Lowell for a Saturday showdown at 7 p.m. Providence will stay on the road, traveling to Boston University tomorrow for a 7 p.m. contest.