Junior D Chad Ruhwedel (San Diego, Calif.) broke a 1-1 draw 6:39 into the third period while freshman G Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) stopped 30 shots as No. 15/18 UMass Lowell won its eighth straight game - a 2-1 victory over Providence College Thursday night in front of 5,694 at the Tsongas Center.
With the win, UMass Lowell improved to 12-7-1 overall and 6-6-1 in Hockey East entering Saturday's clash at No. 9 Boston University (7:00). Providence slipped to 9-9-3 overall and 7-5-2 in Hockey East.
UMass Lowell currently owns the longest winning streak in the country. It also marked the seventh time in the last eight games the River Hawks held an opponent to two goals or less.
The victory was also the sixth straight for Hellebuyck, who improved to 6-1-0, and has held five of his last six opponents to one goal. During that span, he has maintained a 0.95 goals against average while halting 162 of 168 shots on target (.964).
UMass Lowell killed off both Providence power plays, extending its penalty kill streak to 34 straight (40 of 41) over nine games.
UMass Lowell outshot Providence 50-31. Freshman G Jon Gillies had 48 saves for the Friars.
Freshman Ryan McGrath (O'Fallon, Mo.) broke the scoreless drought 2:10 into the third period on a power play. Sophomore F Zack Kamrass (Atlanta, Ga.) took the puck out of the slot and hit freshman D Christian Folin (Gothenberg, Sweden) on the left point. Folin passed to McGrath, who wristed past a screened Gillies.
The Friars leveled at 6:13 when sophomore Ross Mauermann and freshman Mark Jankowski combined nicely out of the right corner. Mauermann won a loose puck in the corner and flipped to Jankowski in the near circle who returned the puck to Mauermann and beat Hellebuyck on the left side.
UMass Lowell reacted well and Ruhwedel scored the winner - his second in three games - just 26 seconds later. Ruhwedel took a cross-ice pass from junior D Joe Houk (Richboro, Pa.) and wristed a shot which appeared to deflect off a Friar defenseman.