LOWELL, Mass. - Freshman defenseman Zack Kamrass (Atlanta, Ga.) scored his first collegiate goal at 11:29 into overtime to defeat Providence College in game two of the Hockey East Quarterfinals on Friday night in the Tsongas Center. The victory tied the series at 1-1-0, forcing a decisive game three on Sunday at 4 p.m.
UMass Lowell (23-11-1) earned the win in front of 4,512 fans in what became the longest game in Tsongas Center history at 71:29. The Friars dropped to 13-19-4 on the year.
The two clubs battled to a draw through most of the first period until Chad Ruhwedel (San Diego, Calif.) broke the drought. A Providence defenseman tried to clear the zone, throwing the puck along the boards, but Ruhwedel cut off the play at the point. The sophomore carried down the wall, cut in front of the net, and flipped a back-hander past Alex Beaudry (Cumberland, Ont.) at 17:28 for the score.
The River Hawks extended the lead to two goals early in the second period after a penalty call on the Friars late in the first carried over. Kamrass fired a shot from the center of the blue line that was tipped by Joseph Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.) and stopped by Beaudry. Providence couldn't clear the rebound and Matt Ferreira (Brampton, Ont.) netted the loose puck.
The lead evaporated late in the second period as the Friars answered with a pair of goals, scored less than two minutes apart. Myles Harvey (Orlando, Fla.) scored the first, hammering home a one-timer from Barrett Kaib (Pittsburgh, Pa.) at the near point at 13:43.
Moments later, Alex Velischek (Kinnelon, N.J.) knocked the puck loose along the boards for Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.) and Shane Luke (Dauphin, Man.) to race down ice. Luke hit goaltender Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.) with a shot and Demopoulos cleaned up the rebound at 15:39 to tie the game.
The clubs continued to fight, but neither could muster a goal in the third, setting up a dramatic overtime finish.
The Friars nearly ended the game twice as Tim Schaller (Merrimack, N.H.) and Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wisc.) each laced shots off of the post, but play continued on.
In the 11th minute of bonus action, Kamrass stripped a Providence player of the puck in UMass Lowell's zone and found Pendenza cruising in neutral ice. Pendenza carried down the far wing and hit Beaudry with a low shot off of his leg pads, sending the rebound into the slot for Kamrass with a free look at an empty net. Kamrass sealed the deal with his first collegiate goal at 11:29 to send the River Hawk faithful home happy.
For the night, Carr stopped 34-of-36 shots to improve to 21-8-1 on the season. Carr rendered the Friars scoreless on their lone power play. Beaudry also made 34 saves and held UMass Lowell to one goal in five power play chances.
The win marked a NCAA hockey record for head coach Norm Bazin, who has recorded the largest turnaround by a first year head coach in Division I history as he has guided the River Hawks to 18 more victories than in 2010-11.