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LOWELL, Mass. - Six different River Hawks found the net as UMass Lowell defeated the Russian Red Stars in an exhibition game, 6-4, on Thursday night in the Tsongas Center.
The Red Stars are a touring all-star squad comprised of elite players from the Minor Hockey League (MHL) in Russia, ranging in age from 19 to 21.
The River Hawks kicked off the evening with four unanswered goals over the first 30 minutes of action. Malcolm Lyles (Miami Gardens, Fla.) started the fireworks at 8:56 with a power play goal off of Michael Budd's (Burlington, Ont.) face-off win.
UMass Lowell then pushed the lead to 2-0 on a give-and-go between rookies Scott Wilson (Oakville, Ont.) and Stephen Buco (North Providence, R.I.), with Wilson finishing off the play at 14:11.
The lead expanded further as Tyler Brickler (Riverwoods, Ill.) used some fancy stick work to pot a back-handed tally at the edge of the crease at 19:50.
The momentum continued in the second period as Josh Holmstrom (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored on a breakaway after a long pass through center ice from Wilson at 9:56.
The fourth tally snapped the Russian Red Stars out of their funk as they roared back with three goals in a span of 1:59. Alexander Titov landed the first tally at 16:16 from Igor Cherkasov.
Maxim Kvitchenko then picked off an errant pass and beat goaltender Marc Boulanger (Olds, Alta.) at 17:54 to cut the score to 4-2.
Finally Kvitchenko collected another River Hawk turnover and set up Ilya Karlin for a goal at 18:15.
Despite the surge from the Red Stars, UMass Lowell managed to settle down. Senior David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) strengthened the River Hawks' advantage early in the third with a power play goal from Matt Ferreira (Brampton, Ont.), connecting on a one-timer from the far circle.
The Russian Red Stars made another push with Karlin's second goal of the night, but captain Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.) answered right back with a power play goal at 11:51 to cement the final score at 6-4.
UMass Lowell's Boulanger looked strong between the pipes, collecting 37 saves and the win. The Red Stars split the workload between Eugene Ivannikov and Rafael Khakimov. Ivannikov made nine saves and allowed two goals before exiting in the 15th minute, while Khakimov stopped 18-of-22 shots over the final 44:51.
After taking the rest of the weekend off, the River Hawks will jump back into Hockey East play with a game at Vermont on Jan. 13.