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DURHAM, N.H. - Senior Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) and freshman Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.) each registered a goal and an assist, but the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team fell to UMass-Lowell, 5-3, in Hockey East action Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
The Wildcats drop to 6-8-2 overall and 4-6-1 in Hockey East play, while the River Hawks improve to 9-4-0 on the season and 6-3-0 in the league. The UMass Lowell win marks the first River Hawks victory on UNH ice for the first time since Nov. 25, 2003, also snapping a six-game home win streak for the Wildcats.
In addition to Moses and Thrush, the UNH offense was paced by sophomore Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y., one goal), while junior Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and sophomores Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.), Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) and Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) each recorded assists.
Senior Matt Di Girolamo (Ambler, Pa.) recorded 27 saves in net for the Wildcats, while Doug Carr stopped 45 shots in between the pipes for the River Hawks.
The Wildcats drew first blood in the contest on a goal by Agosta at the 10:34 mark. Thrush skated down the left side, and dropped a timely pass back to Agosta, who then sent a wrist shot past the glove of past Carr for the early 1-0 advantage. The River Hawks answered back with a late goal at the 19:33 mark to even the score at 1-1 heading into the first intermission. With less than a minute to play in the stanza, junior Riley Wetmore kept the play alive by directing a loose puck to the direction of senior David Vallorani. He then maneuvered around a defender on the right side and chipped a one-timer to Derek Arnold, who waited in front of the Wildcat goal and tipped in the equalizer. New Hampshire held a commanding 29-10 shot edge in the period.
UNH answered back early in the second stanza with a goal by Thrush at 2:15 for the 2-1 lead. Knodel tipped a pass to Block in the offensive zone, who fed Thrush on the right side. Thrush's initial shot was blocked but he followed the attack and chipped in the rebound in front on the net. The River Hawks evened the score at 2-2 at 5:41 when a shot by Tim Corcoran from the point was tipped in the air and fell to the feet of Michael Budd, who sent a wrister to the back of the net.
UML took its first lead of the game on a goal by Matt Ferreira at 10:23 of the second period. After fielding a pass by Joseph Pendenza, Ferreira swept across the crease to the right side and angled a shot back toward the net, sneaking the puck past Di Girolamo for the 2-1 lead. The back-and-forth action continued into the third period as UNH evened the score at 3-3 on a goal by Moses at 12:22. Goumas stormed down the left wing and swept behind the net before he dished a pass to Moses for the one-timer. Sorkin set up the play and was credited with the assist.
UMass Lowell responded 23 seconds later on Ferriera's second tally of the game to give Lowell the 3-4 lead at 12:47 in the third stanza. Ferreira was set up by freshman Terrence Wallin, as he followed his teammate's missed shot and tipped home the rebound for the go-ahead goal.
Vallorani netted an insurance goal for the River Hawks at 14:21 to close the scoring. Derek Arnold and Riley Wetmore were credited with assists.
The Wildcats return to action on Thursday, Dec. 8 when they play host to Boston University at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WBIN-TV.