The UMass Lowell River Hawks showed resilience against an aggressive McGill University squad, battling back on three occasions to tie the game 3-3. The preseason contest at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell will be the River Hawks lone preseason match-up before beginning the defense of their Hockey East crowns next weekend.
The visiting Redmen got on the board first, with Patrick Delisle-Houde scoring an even-strength goal at 11:31 of the first period. The River Hawks answered back quickly with freshman forward Evan Campbell (Port Coquitlam, BC) finding the back of the net just 24 seconds later to even the score. Campbell was a growing threat who created offensive opportunities throughout the night, impressing along with his fellow freshmen, including defensemen Dylan Zink (Madison, Wisc.) and Michael Kapla (Eau Claire, Wisc.) who looked increasing comfortable and confident as the night went on.
"It's always nice to chip in," Campbell, a 2013 5th round selection of the Edmonton Oilers, said. "Next weekend the real thing starts, and hopefully I can keep it going."
Carl Gelinas gave the Redmen back the lead at 13:22 of the first period as the freshman sniper snapped a wristshot past River Hawks netminder Doug Carr's (Hanover, Mass.) glove side to give the Canadian visitors a 2-1 lead to close out the first stanza.
After a Redmen goal was ruled to have gone through the side of the net early in the second, Greg Amlong, the sophomore forward out of O'Fallon, Missouri, evened the score again 3:47 into the second. The seesaw affair continued in the third as Guillame Langelier-Parent gave McGill back the lead at 11:34. With the minutes ticking off the clock, Scott Wilson (Oakville, Ont.) played the hero, netting a power play tally at 16:53. Wilson skated in a few strides and then let loose with a rocket past McGill goaltender Andrew Flemming. With a Josh Holmstrom (Colorado Springs, CO) goal waived off in overtime, the River Hawks settled for the tie, 3-3.
UMass Lowell's goaltending tandem of Doug Carr and Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) split the duties for the night with both putting in solid performances. Carr surrendered two goals, finishing with eight saves in 31:30 played while Hellebuyck gave up a goal with 12 saves, including one in overtime, in 33:21.
Despite the lack of a W, the River Hawks take positives away from their lone preseason game action as they prepare to open the regular season next weekend.
"I think we had some good moments," River Hawks Head Coach Norm Bazin said. "I think coming back from one goal down three times, scoring a power play goal, getting better as the game goes on - they're all positives."
"There are plenty of things that we can improve. It's that time of year, it's very little practice, very little structure and you want to see how guys will respond to things," Bazin said. "Overall, I was fairly pleased."
UMass Lowell will open up the 2013-14 regular season next Friday, October 11 at 7:15 PM when they host the Sacred Heart Pioneers. Prior to the game, the team will raise its 2013 Hockey East Regular Season Champion, Hockey East Tournament Champion and Frozen Four banners to the rafters of the Tsongas Center. Season tickets, tickets and mini packs for hockey are now available and can be purchased online at TsongasCenter.com or by contacting Andrew Ralph (email@example.com; 978-934-5749 ) or Joe Fellini (firstname.lastname@example.org; 978-934-5751 ).